Where Do Woodpeckers Live?

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Woodpeckers are found living worldwide, except for some islands and extreme polar regions. They are commonly found in the heavily wooded areas along the eastern United States. Find out why woodpeckers are considered a fringe species with insight from a science teacher in this free video on animal habitats.

Part of the Video Series: Animal Habitats
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Video Transcript

If you're in a wooded area, particularly in the warmer months, you may hear the familiar rat-a-tat-tat of a Woodpecker looking for it's next meal. I'm Janice Creneti, I've been teaching Environmental Science for over twenty years and I'm here to answer the question, "Where do Woodpeckers live?" Well Woodpeckers are actually found worldwide, almost everywhere except for Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, which are islands, and also extreme Polar regions. Woodpeckers feed predominately on insects and those insects can't exist in that very cold weather. In the United States Woodpeckers are most common along the Eastern United States. Again heavily treed areas, which are going to hold a lot of insects on which those birds can feed. Now some of those birds are, Woodpeckers are actually ground dwelling. But for the most part they are tree dwellers. Pileated Woodpeckers are the largest species, they're the ones that have a red crown, almost similar to what you'd see on a Cardinal. But the Red Bellied Woodpecker and the Red Headed Woodpecker are also two very common species. Woodpeckers have some interesting adaptations to live on trees. First of all they have these very long tweezer like bills, which are designed to make those holes in the wood and go in after the burrowing insects. The other thing that's very interesting about some Woodpeckers is the structure of their feet. Instead of having three toes in the front and one behind like most birds who perch do, the Woodpecker's foot is actually shaped like an X. With two fingers and two fingers almost making a grappling hook that allows them to climb easily up and down the tree, and to be able to hold that vertical position while they're going in there after those insects. Woodpeckers do very well around Humans, they're considered a fringe species which means they can live in Urban and even Suburban areas. But they do need those trees in which to find their insects. I'm Janice Creneti and this is "Where do Woodpeckers live?"


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