- There are more than 180 species of woodpeckers. While they are worldwide in habitats such as forests, deserts, jungles and urban settings, you won’t find any in Australia, Madagascar or New Zealand.
- A woodpecker’s tongue is up to 4 inches long depending on the species, and it wraps around the skull when it is retracted. Many woodpeckers have barbed tongues that help them extract bugs from trees and holes. Woodpeckers can lick up sap and insects, and will also use their agile tongues to sip from nectar feeders.
- The downy woodpecker is the most common backyard woodpecker in North America, and is one of only about two dozen woodpecker species found in the United States.
- The most common plumage colors for all woodpeckers are black, white, red and yellow. A few species also have orange, green, brown, maroon and gold in their coloration. Brighter colors are usually flashy patches, typically on the head, neck or back where they will be easily seen.
- Woodpeckers do not have vocal songs, though they can make chirps, chatters and other alarm calls. For more elaborate communication, they drum on resonant objects such as hollow trees, stumps and logs, utility poles, chimneys, rain gutters and trash cans. Woodpeckers drum to attract mates, establish territories and otherwise communicate, and both male and female woodpeckers will drum.