Why Do Woodpeckers Peck Wood?

Why Do Woodpeckers Peck Wood?

Just like other birds, woodpeckers have unique and special traits, pecking being one of them. Has it ever crossed your mind that why do woodpeckers peck? Many people think that it’s due to self-mutilation that these birds bang their beaks in the wood; however, it’s not true.

Some of the most common reasons woodpecker peck wood is because they are searching for food, it is a form of communication and it is a tool they use to build their homes. 

Pecking is a crucial behavior of their lifestyle, and it depends upon some logical reasons. In today’s blog, we are going to understand some of those reasons. 

Why Do Woodpeckers Peck Wood

1. They Peck Woods in Search For Food

Different creatures on earth have different ways of finding food. Woodpeckers, too, have their own special way to do so. They peck woods to find their food, i.e., ants, larvae, and other small insects. Once they find their food in the woods, they use their long and flexible tongue to catch them in their mouth. 

So the next time you see a woodpecker pecking in the woods, remember it’s because they are searching for food. And unlike kids, don’t try to throw stones at them to save trees – woodpeckers need food for their survival. 

2. Pecking is Important For Communication

Let us share an amazing fact about woodpeckers – they aren’t vocal birds, which implies that you won’t find any woodpecker that can chirp. Instead of chirping, woodpeckers peck the trees, which produce a tapping-like sound. The sound offers them protection by scaring all possible rivals and predators. 

Moreover, protection isn’t the only feature of the pecking. It also helps them communicate with their mates. Since they cannot chitter, pecking acts as a great communication tool, helping them communicate with their companions. 

3. Woodpeckers Build Their Homes Using Pecking

What’s your answer to the question – where do birds live? Nest, most probably. It’s the right answer; however, not applicable in the case of woodpeckers. Unlike other birds, woodpeckers don’t make their nests ‘on’ the trees. Instead, they make ‘in’ the trees. 

You might have seen birds collecting grass and twigs to build their nests. But you’ll never see a woodpecker do the same. When they peck a big hole in the woods, there’s a high chance that they are building their future home. However, if you see them making multiple small holes, they are most likely building spaces for food storage purposes.

4. Woodpeckers Peck to Mark Their Territory

Humans mark their territory by fencing their property with barriers. Animals, such as dogs, urinate at their favorite spot or area to showcase their ownership to other dogs. Humans and animals are not the only creatures who like to mark their territory. Birds have their unique way of marking their territory, too, especially woodpeckers. 

When woodpeckers peck wood hard, it creates a loud drum-like tapping sound. In addition to keeping the predators away, that would help them mark their territory in the area. With the sound of tapping, they let other birds be aware of their presence. 

5. Woodpeckers Peck Because They Are Capable to Do So

What do you think God has given us legs for? Obviously, to walk. Why do we have eyes? Of course to see. Similarly, woodpeckers have strong beaks and necks so they can comfortably peck. They peck in the woods because they can do so without harming themselves. 

Think yourself, won’t you flex if you have a strong and big muscular body? Of course, you will. Not just humans but birds too use their natural abilities to perform various activities, pecking being one of the important ones. 

Here’s a fun fact about woodpeckers – they can comfortably peck 10000 times a day. Their necks have natural shock/vibration adsorbent, allowing them to balance the levels of vibration. These adsorbents also help them to reduce concussions, decreasing the risk of breaking their neck.

So if woodpeckers are pecking holes in the trees of your garden or residence, these are the reasons why they do it. However, many people don’t like woodpeckers pecking in their trees. Are you one of them? If yes, keep on reading to discover the solution.

How to Stop Woodpeckers From Destroying Your Trees And Timber Structures

It might have taken you a lot of time and effort to create a beautiful timber structure in your house or yard. Letting a woodpecker destroy it is something you obviously don’t want. Here are some techniques to stop these birds from digging holes in trees.

1. Check Your Structure

There’s a chance that woodpeckers are looking for food in your wooden structures. Therefore, it’s necessary to conduct a termite and insect inspection. If you find the presence of these little creatures, use pesticides or any other natural compound to get rid of them.

2. Clog All the Holes

Another great way to stop woodpeckers from wandering around your trees is – clog the holes they have built. Before doing so, make sure there’s no bird inside those holes. Of course, you don’t want those cute little baby birds to get harmed. You can either use a patching compound to fill the hole or cover that area with an aluminum flashing.

3. Leave Unhealthy Trees

As per the above method, holes that woodpeckers have made need to be blocked; however, when you do so, leave the unhealthy trees. This way, woodpeckers will focus on only the unhealthy trees, leaving the good ones aside. 

4. Install Decoys

Have you ever seen a scarecrow on a farm? They are used to frighten crows and other birds that destroy the fields. You can use the same decoys to scare away the woodpeckers from destroying your well-maintained trees and wooden structure. 

There are various plastic decoys available in the market, such as snakes and owls. Moreover, you can also consider installing solar-powered bird scarers with flashing eyes. They work more effectively. 

Final Words

So these were all the reasons why woodpeckers peck wood. If you are also tired of these birds destroying your trees, try out the techniques we have shared with you above. 

Also, make sure to share this blog with anyone you know, stressed about woodpeckers making holes in their trees. Let them know the reasons behind woodpecker pecking woods and help them cope up with this issue.

About the author

Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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