Curiosities: Why do woodpeckers peck on wood?

By Eddy Montilla.

WOODPECKERS

Except for the streak of sadism in people’s nature that leads them to an absurd enjoyment from watching or making somebody suffer, people and animals have many things in common. Let’s see: People use a piece of machinery and tools to harvest food they will eat later or to make a place to live. Woodpeckers use their sharp claws to hold tightly and their sharp beaks to peak into trees to look for food (insects, larvae, etc., that are extracted with their long tongues.) or to create nesting places. When men fall in love or want to make love, they behave and flirt in different ways: They send flowers, sing, pretend to be rich or strong, etc. Well, a woodpecker drums its beak on either wood or metal to make a recognizable sound that is in fact a message for a beautiful woodpecker: “Love is waiting and love does not like to wait”, an almost irresistible invitation that will let the woodpecker lay between four and eight eggs. Another possible reason for this sound and message is to let other woodpeckers know that this is my area. In short, woodpeckers peck on wood to look for food, to mate, to create a nesting site or to define their place of living, their territory.

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