*A group of pileated woodpeckers are collectively known as a "crown" of woodpeckers.
|Female Pileated Woodpecker by wplynn|
*The barbed tip of a woodpecker’s tongue is very sensitive to touch and can both detect and impale insect larvae. The tongue is coated with sticky mucus that is secreted by large salivary glands; this coating helps to ensure that its prey does not slip away.
|Male Pileated Woodpecker by wplynn|
*In order for woodpeckers to survive the 10G’s of force that they can sustain with every blow against a tree, they have the following special adaptations:
-The bones between the beak and the skull are joined by a flexible cartilage, which cushions the shock of each blow.
-The skull is made of spongy, air-filled bone and the brain is packed very tightly into the brain cavity, with little room to rattle around during impacts.
-The shear force from each blow is directed not to the brain, but downward towards very strong neck muscles that act as shock absorbers.
-A woodpecker’s head and body are always in a perfectly straight alignment when hitting a tree to avoid breaking its neck.
*When feeding on wood, grubs make an audible sound that could be heard by a woodpecker.
*Woodpeckers have a better sense of smell than most birds and may be able to detect the strong odor of the formic acid that ants, bark beetles and termites excrete (smells like Sweet Tarts.)
*If you want to provide good habitat for woodpeckers, consider leaving the dead tree snags in and around your yard.
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