How do Woodpeckers identify each other?

How do Woodpeckers identify each other?

In addition to sight, bird species identify each other through their songs and calls. Birds of the same species can recognize who is calling and what the call means.

The Woodpecker is an arboreal (tree-living) bird in the Picidae family of piculets, wrynecks, woodpeckers, and sapsuckers.

The Woodpecker does not have as wide a range of songs as songbirds, called passerines. However, it does have a range of calls and noises to communicate with other Woodpeckers. It makes simpler noises, such as brief trills, twitters, and whistles. Therefore, it uses another method to identify each other.

Nubian Woodpecker

Because it lives in dense forests, high in the trees, it uses a form of non-vocal communication called drumming. It repeatedly pecks rapidly on the tree trunk with its beak. It sounds like a drum roll. It is a territorial call to mark its territory, to forage for food, and to call a mate.

However, the pecking is also used for mutual recognition. The Woodpecker can identify which bird in its group is pecking by the sound of the drumming because each Woodpecker has a distinctive and unique drumroll. 

Location of photographs: Kenya

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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