Green woodpeckers are one of the most fascinating birds found in Europe and Asia.
Green woodpeckers are one of the most fascinating birds found in Europe and Asia. These birds are instantly recognisable with their distinctive green plumage and bold markings. But beyond their striking appearance, green woodpeckers are also renowned for their unique behaviour, especially their use of their beaks to tap on trees. In this blog, we will closely examine what green woodpeckers do and why they use their beak to tap on trees.
Green woodpeckers, also known as European green woodpeckers, are part of the woodpecker family; as such, they have some common characteristics with other woodpeckers. For example, they have solid and chisel-like beaks perfectly adapted for drilling holes into trees. These holes serve as nesting sites and provide access to the insects the woodpeckers feed on.
However, green woodpeckers also have some unique behaviours that set them apart from other woodpeckers. One of these behaviours is their distinctive "yaffle" call, which sounds like a loud, laughing "yak-yak-yak" noise. This call is used by both males and females and is often heard during the breeding season.
Another unique behaviour of green woodpeckers is their foraging technique. Unlike other woodpeckers, which primarily feed on insects inside tree trunks, green woodpeckers prefer to feed on ants and other insects found on the ground. To do this, they use their beaks to dig into the soil and extract their prey.
One of the most unusual behaviours of green woodpeckers is their habit of tapping on trees with their beaks. This behaviour is a form of communication and serves several purposes.
First, green woodpeckers use their tapping to mark their territory. Tapping on trees creates a distinctive sound that other woodpeckers can recognise. This helps them establish their territory and avoid conflicts with other birds.
Second, green woodpeckers use their tapping to attract mates. During the breeding season, males tap on trees to create a distinctive rhythm that females find attractive. If a female responds to the tapping, the male will continue the rhythm, eventually leading to mating.
Finally, green woodpeckers also use their tapping to locate insects inside trees. By tapping on a tree, they can listen to insects moving inside. Once they find their prey, they use their strong beaks to drill into the tree and extract the insects.
In conclusion, green woodpeckers are fascinating birds with many unique behaviours. From their distinctive calls to their foraging techniques, these birds are well-adapted to their environment. And while their habit of tapping on trees with their beaks may seem unusual, it is an essential form of communication and a crucial part of their survival strategy.