Woodpeckers are Adorable!

They are not only adorable, they are fascinating! If one comes tapping on your home or tree it’s because of the unseen; ants or termites! Their clutch (home) choice is usually a dead area in wood. Oh and their territorial drum and tapping to attract a mate in the early morning hours always makes me smile. Below is an account of a Pileated Woodpecker excavating a tree infested with termites.

Recently while trekking through the woods I came through an opening and heard that old familiar “rat tat tat”. Looking up there was the most wonderful site; vibrant red head and now he wasn’t drumming but hopping up and down while picking berries off a tree. He was naturally trampolining from branch to tree and effortlessly, like an Olympic gymnast!

Started researching bird feet and found out the most amazing truth; most birds have four toes on each foot, and all birds have a claw at the tip of each toe. However, the arrangement and size of the toes and the size and shape of the claws vary according to the birds’ ways of life.

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Did you know the tongue of a woodpecker wraps around its brain to cushion while “rap tap tapping”? Often wondered why woodpeckers didn’t have brain damage from the forceful drumming and now we know why.

woodpecker tongue The force of impact against a tree is so great that if he didn’t not close his eyes, he would pop his eyeballs out! And then to find out their tongue, BEGINS at the ‘forehead’; under the skin and attached to the skull between the eyes.  It then splits into two strands. Each strand loops around the back of the skull, around the neck bones. Then the strands rejoin inside the rear of the lower beak. So before each “rap tap tap” his tongue recoils to cushion his brain………AMAZING! I don’t know of any animal that has this ability do you?

Nature and her Creator leaves me smiling.

About Brenda

"Brenda adores the birds. She is enchanted with their grace, their beauty. It was the birds and being out among them that gave her the peace she so needed and forged a new passion She uses a camera to capture those incredible moments, to savor them and share them with others. For her the camera was freedom. Brenda spent her life healing others, and dealing with incredible pain and despair. The world of birds and nature and photography was what she turned to in order to see the beautiful side of the world" -Eric Curtis Cummings
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11 Responses to Woodpeckers are Adorable!

  1. That is awesome about the tongue… Very neat!

  2. By the way mom…. I think you have a unique foot fetish.. LOL

  3. Jo Heroux says:

    Wow. I am seeing my little red headed friends in a whole new way. Love when you teach me about my feathered visitors. We so enjoy watching them.

  4. Lisa Warner says:

    Love this whole article! The information, the pics and your passion that comes through!!!
    I was reading this outside at City Place and I saw 2 pigeons that I named “Stumpy” and “Limpy” The poor guys had feet issues…
    Stumpy had no claws on one foot and Limpy had only 1 claw on one of his feet 😦
    I tried to take a pic but they didn’t stay still…Brenda, you really take amazing pics!!

    • Brenda says:

      aww poor Stumpy and Limpy 😦 they adapt like we humans 🙂 thanks again Lisa ((hugs)) i really do enjoy spending time in nature. Heading up to Ontario in May….hope to share even more of the Northern wildlife!!

  5. Trish says:

    Very cool information! The tongue thing is definitely crazy! Nature can be so amazing in so many ways.

  6. Pingback: Untie the Wild Soul | Fact vs Truth

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