Woodpecker types, description and photo of the bird, what it eats and what it looks like, listen to the voice

Woodpeckers are small birds that lead an arboreal life. The most remarkable thing about these creatures is the straight and conical beak, which allows them to deftly cope with insects of the tree bark. Among the people, woodpeckers received a second name “forest doctor”. Even in fairy tales, woodpeckers are portrayed as honest and kind characters. He earned this reputation for maintaining and curing trees from parasites.

woodpecker species

In total, there are about 200 species of woodpeckers in the world. Consider the main types:

Great sharp-winged woodpecker

Despite this name, the woodpecker is quite small in size. Its length varies within 16 centimeters, and it weighs an average of only 20 grams. Distinguished by its beautiful variegated color. Males are distinguished by small red spots on the sides. This representative settled the zone of the south and east of Asia.

Common woodpecker (great spotted woodpecker)

Quite a widespread species of woodpeckers. It spread, in particular, on the territory of Eurasia. It can be found from the territory of the forest spaces of England to the woodlands of Japan. A distinctive feature of common woodpeckers is their characteristic color. They have a bright white and black color that contrasts well with the red undertail. Some representatives can observe red color in the head area.

Syrian woodpecker

The appearance of this representative is not particularly different from that of an ordinary woodpecker. Some differences are in the length of the Syrian woodpecker’s beak. And the presence of a more developed streak. Some specimens have a large white spot between the eye and shoulder, while the common woodpecker has two small spots in this area. This representative lives in the Middle East, the Balkans and in some regions of Eastern Europe.

white-backed woodpecker

This type of woodpecker has medium dimensions with a body length of up to 31 centimeters and a weight of up to 300 grams. Its characteristic feature is a long neck and an angular appearance of the head. The upper body color of woodpeckers is black, and the lower part is white. Sexual dimorphism of the sexes consists in the presence of a red hat in males, and black in females.

red-bellied woodpecker

Received this name due to its red color of the abdomen. It has another name red-necked woodpecker. Quite small in size. Body size reaches 250 millimeters in length with a weight of up to 70 grams. Settled in Southeast Asia.

Black Woodpecker or Zhelna

A fairly well-known large representative of woodpeckers with a body length of up to 50 centimeters and a weight of up to 450 grams. You can identify the black woodpecker by the dark color of the feathers and the red cap. Distributed in forest areas near the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

african beard

An extremely remarkable representative of woodpeckers, which has variegated red, blue and yellow feathers near the beak. The largest representatives of this species grow up to 30 centimeters, and feed on large rodents. Smaller beards eat insects and plant foods. These representatives live in the tropical forests of Africa.


As noted above, the main diet of woodpeckers are various tree insects. They eat termites, ants, aphids and bark beetles. Woodpeckers very accurately determine infected trees, through their very subtle hearing, which is able to capture even a barely noticeable creak emitted in the bark of a tree.


Woodpeckers themselves are predominantly a sedentary species of birds that prefer to live in a specific area. These birds are predominantly solitary. Pairs form only for the nesting period. Almost all the time they are looking for trees in which insects live. Selected tree they pass from bottom to top. Woodpeckers do not descend to the surface of the earth, because they cannot stand evenly on a horizontal surface. They are upright all the time, they even sleep in it.

Communication between woodpeckers occurs by knocking out a tree, which is called “drumroll”. This is how they mark their territory and attract females for breeding.


The breeding season of woodpeckers is marked with the arrival of spring. At this time, males actively lure females into their territory with the help of a trill. After the formation of a pair, the male and female begin to equip the nest for future offspring. For the safety of their cubs, they hide nests under branches.

The incubation period lasts 15 days. As a rule, from 3 to 7 eggs are born, from which very small and helpless woodpeckers then hatch: without sight, hearing and plumage. Cubs begin to grow stronger after a month. During this period, they are actively covered with feathers, begin to see and make sounds. Lacking the ability to fly, little woodpeckers run through trees. They become fully sexually mature at one year of age.


Life expectancy may vary depending on the species of woodpecker. The most tenacious woodpecker is considered to be the sovereign, who is able to live up to 30 years. The average duration of other woodpeckers is around 11 years.

We listen to the voice of the woodpecker

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