Pest Away Tips

8 Fascinating Facts About Woodpeckers: Identification Behavior and Protection

Woodpeckers: The Strong Beaked Birds

When it comes to birds, there are a few distinct species that stand out above the rest. Among these, the woodpecker is one of the most interesting and awe-inspiring.

With their strong beaks, zygodactyl feet, and long and sharp beaks, they are fascinating creatures to observe. In North America, there are several species of woodpeckers, each with their own unique characteristics.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the world of woodpeckers, examining their behavior, habitats, and identification.

Woodpecker Characteristics

One of the most notable features of any woodpecker is its strong beak. This allows them to easily dig into bark and wood, looking for insects, grubs, and other food sources.

In fact, the woodpecker’s diet consists primarily of insects and other small creatures, as well as sap, berries, seeds, nuts, and suet. Another unique characteristic of the woodpecker is their zygodactyl feet.

This means that two of their toes face forward and the other two face backward, giving them a much stronger and more stable grip on trees and other surfaces. This allows them to easily climb up and down trees, searching for food or building nests.

Woodpecker Species in North America

There are several different species of woodpeckers found throughout North America. One of the most common is the Downy Woodpecker, which is the smallest of all North American woodpeckers.

They have a distinctive black and white head, with a small and delicate beak. Additionally, they have zygodactyl feet and a habit of hanging upside down on trees and other surfaces.

Another species of woodpecker found in North America is the Acorn Woodpecker. These birds are known for their iconic habit of storing acorns in the bark of trees, which they then harvest throughout the year.

They have a beautiful red cap on their head, as well as a unique facial pattern that distinguishes them from other woodpeckers. The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker species in North America.

They have a crest on their head that extends down their back, as well as a distinctive red crest on the top of their head. Their strong beaks make them particularly adept at digging into trees to search for insects and grubs.

Other species of North American woodpeckers include the Hairy Woodpecker, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, and Red-Bellied Woodpecker. Each of these species has its own unique characteristics and behaviors, making them a fascinating group of birds to observe.

Woodpecker Behavior

Woodpeckers have unique behaviors that set them apart from other bird species. For example, they are well-known for their nesting habits.

Woodpeckers typically create or expand space for their family by excavating cavities in trees or other structures. These nests are typically lined with grass, feathers, and other materials to keep their young comfortable.

Unlike many other bird species, woodpecker babies will leave the nest within three to five weeks of being born. They are able to fly and fend for themselves at a young age, due in part to their strong beaks and zygodactyl feet.

This allows them to quickly adapt to their environment and seek out food and other resources on their own.


Woodpeckers are a fascinating group of birds that have captured the attention of many birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Their strong beaks, zygodactyl feet, and unique nesting habits make them a particularly interesting species to observe.

By learning more about their behavior, identification, and habitats, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the world of woodpeckers. So the next time you’re out and about, keep an eye out for these strong-beaked birds and marvel at their unique beauty and resilience.

Woodpecker Control: Getting Rid of these Intruder Birds

Woodpeckers can be fascinating creatures to observe in nature. However, when they invade our homes and property, they can be quite a nuisance.

The constant drumming, pecking and drilling can be annoying and even damaging. Moreover, certain woodpeckers are listed as threatened and protected species under the Federal law, therefore, it is crucial to respect their significance in the ecosystem while finding humane ways to deter them.

Here are some harmless woodpecker deterrents, prevention tips, and products that can protect your property without harming any birds.

Harmless Woodpecker Deterrents

The easiest way to deter woodpeckers is to scare them away. One technique is to place shiny or reflective materials around the area of the property where the bird is causing trouble.

This can scare the bird away and prevent them from landing on the property without causing any harm. Moreover, humane pest control techniques can be employed by making use of noise-making devices that are inaudible to humans, such as an ultrasonic bird repeller, which creates a sound that can drive woodpeckers away.

This technique is entirely safe for the birds, and since they respond more readily to calls and alarms, it can be effective as a long-term solution.

Preventing Woodpecker Damage to Property

Preventing woodpecker damage to property is also an essential factor in reducing conflicts with these birds. Property owners can check for parasites within the wood that may attract woodpeckers.

This can be achieved by studying the location of the damage and ensuring that there are no insects infesting the wood. Using netting or reflective materials around the property can also be a useful prevention technique.

Applying bird and animal repellent spray and blocking up any holes in the property is also a good way to discourage woodpeckers from nesting.

Woodpecker Deterrent Products

There are numerous woodpecker deterrent products available in the market. One of the most popular products is bird repellent disks, which are designed to create an unpleasant smell that deters woodpeckers.

Reflective ribbon is another useful deterrent which creates bright light flashes. Ultrasonic bird repellers emit sound waves that are harmless to birds but simply intolerable, causing them discomfort and forcing them away.

Bird repellent gel is another useful product that repels birds based on its taste. Bird balloons and animal repellent concentrate can also be effective solutions for bird control.

Additionally, an owl decoy or bird spikes can be placed at the site of intrusion, causing woodpeckers to perceive the area as unsafe and leave. Netting can be employed to prevent woodpeckers from entering or landing in an area.

Woodpecker Identification (Expanded)

Woodpeckers are fascinating creatures that can be seen and heard in many habitats around the world. They have a unique physical structure that sets them apart from other birds.

Short, strong legs and stiff tail feathers help them cling effortlessly to vertical surfaces, and their sharp, long beaks are perfectly suited for excavating holes in trees and creating cavities for nesting. Additionally, their zygodactyl feet, with two toes facing forward and two back, allow them to grip tightly to surfaces as they search for food.

Woodpeckers are well-known for their distinct drumming sound, which can be heard from a distance. This sound is produced when they beat their beaks against a hollow surface, creating a consistent series of fast-paced beats.

This sound can be used as a communication tool. They often use this sound to attract a mate or to establish their territory.

They may also use different rhythms to communicate different messages. Woodpeckers are found in almost every habitat around the world except for Australia, New Guinea, Madagascar, and Antarctica.

These birds are known to be solitary creatures, pushing their young out of the nest to fend for themselves within a few weeks of hatching. Despite this aggressive parenting style, woodpeckers have a shorter lifespan than other bird species, living up to nine to twelve years.


Woodpeckers are fascinating creatures, with their unique physical structures, distinctive drumming sound, and intriguing communication patterns. While they can be fascinating to observe, they can also be a nuisance when they invade our living space.

By utilizing harmless woodpecker deterrents such as mirrors, noise makers, and repellent sprays and products, one can ensure that they can coexist with these birds without harming them. However, it is also important to understand and identify the unique characteristics of these birds to appreciate their vital role in our ecosystem while protecting our property.

Woodpecker Protection: Understanding Laws and Impact on Trees

Woodpeckers are fascinating birds that are protected by federal law in the United States. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) was established in 1918 to protect migratory birds, including all woodpecker species in North America.

This law protects woodpeckers and other bird species from being killed, captured, traded, or harmed in any way. However, there are still some effective ways to control woodpeckers without breaking any laws.

Woodpecker Protection Under the Law

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) protects all woodpeckers in North America. The law mandates that no person shall take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except as authorized.

However, the law does not mean that you cannot control woodpecker damage, but the methods used cannot harm the bird or an active nest. Control methods that harm or kill a bird or an active nest are prohibited, which includes nest disturbance, trapping, poisoning, and killing.

If a woodpecker is causing property damage, one must hire a professional wildlife control specialist who has a permit. Also, threatened or endangered species like the Red-Cockaded woodpecker are given additional protections under the Endangered Species Act, making it illegal to harm or remove them without a permit.

Woodpecker Impact on Trees

Woodpeckers are equipped with a strong sharp beak that they use to make holes in trees in search of insects, grubs, and sap. They are also known to pick on buildings made of wood.

Woodpeckers are significant contributors to the ecosystem, eating parasites and insects within trees that are harmful to them. However, the holes they create can become entryways for fungi and infections, leading to the decay of trees.

Moreover, woodpeckers can also drain trees of sap, making it difficult for the tree to transport nutrients, and in some cases, they can even split smaller trees in half.

Effective Ways to Avoid Woodpecker Problems

Filling a bird feeder with suet, seed, and insects can help distract woodpeckers from causing unnecessary damage. This method is effective for woodpeckers that have easy food sources in the area.

Also, natural repellents like essential oils such as peppermint, lemon, and eucalyptus can be sprayed around the area of the property where the bird is causing trouble. This is effective for situations where woodpeckers are nesting in the surrounding trees or roosting in the area.

Avoid using scented candles or citronella, garlic, or other strong-smelling substances as these scents can irritate the birds and cause them to flock to the property. Finally, woodpecker-proofing can also be done by placing durable materials like metal flashing around the area where the birds are causing damage.

This will create an impenetrable surface that cannot be penetrated by the sharp beaks or sharp talons of the birds.


Woodpeckers are fascinating birds that are well-protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They are significant contributors to the ecosystem, eating insects and parasites that are harmful to trees.

While they can cause damage to trees and property, there are several humane ways to control woodpecker damage without causing harm to the birds. Property owners must be aware of laws that protect these birds and find effective ways to keep woodpeckers away.

By employing natural repellents, filling bird feeders, and undertaking woodpecker-proofing, property owners can protect both their property and the woodpeckers that inhabit their environment. In conclusion, woodpeckers are fascinating birds with their unique characteristics, including their strong sharp beaks, zygodactyl feet, and distinct drumming sounds.

Although they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, they can cause damage to property. By employing gentle and humane methods such as bird feeders, natural repellents, and woodpecker-proofing, we can coexist with these impressive creatures.

Moreover, understanding the impact that woodpeckers have on trees provides a deeper appreciation for their ecological significance. Our responsibility as humans is to implement sustainable solutions that aid in the conservation of these birds and their natural habitats.

We must aim for a harmonious coexistence with nature, respecting and protecting our diverse and intriguing avian species.

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