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Woodpeckers - Discover Nature (KRCG)

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The Missouri Department of Conservation wants to help you to discover nature and learn more about woodpeckers.

They are unusual birds that are uniquely adapted for a life of climbing and pecking, or drumming, on trees.

Specialized feet help them get a firm grip and stiff tail feathers brace them as they scoot up and down trees.

Woodpeckers have an extra-thick skull and a chisel-like beak. And when they drum, they are doing more than just making noise.

There are a couple of reasons woodpeckers drum. First, they try to establish their territory in the summer and also attract a mate. And the second reason, also looking for food behind the tree bark.

Wood peckers are important members of the forest community. Not only do they consume lots of wood-boring insects, an abandoned woodpecker's home is real estate for bluebirds, chickadees, owls, squirrels and other wildlife.

Seven species of woodpeckers are commonly found in the Midwest and several will visit bird feeders supplied with suet or sunflower seed.

A field guide and a pair of binoculars will help you identify which of these birds live in your neighborhood.
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