Typical woodpecker
Hispaniolan Woodpecker
Hispaniolan Woodpecker

About this sound Tapping sound of a woodpecker

Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Clade: Afroaves
Clade: Picodynastornithes
Order: Piciformes
Suborder: Pici
Family: Picidae
Subfamily: Picinae
Vigors, 1825

Typical woodpeckers, subfamily Picinae is a subfamily of woodpeckers. It contains more than half of all the species of woodpeckers. They are found in North and South America, Eurasia and Africa. Picinae includes 7 tribes: Nesoctitini (Antillean Piculet), Hemicircini (Hemicircus woodpeckers), Chrysocolaptini (flameback woodpeckers), Campephilini (Campephilus woodpeckers), Picini (true woodpeckers), Melanerpini (sapsuckers, Melanerpes woodpeckers), and Picoidini (Picoides, Dendrocopos woodpeckers).


They range from 16–55 cm (6.3–21.7 in); weights range from 13–563 g (0.46–19.86 oz). Size and weight differences between the sexes are small, with the male most often being the largest. Sexual differences in mensural characters are associate with sexual differences in feeding.[1] Typical woodpeckers upperparts usually appropriate to habitat, being brownish, greyish, blackish or greenish, with head and neck mostly bright colours: red, yellow, white, or black patches or stripes; bills are black, grey, brown, or bright white.[1] The young hatch naked and blind. Sexes differ little in plumage (sometimes almost imperceptible), these differences may affect the moustache stripe, crown and nape; in most cases, the male shows red in these parts.[1]

The European Green Woodpecker's tongue can be as long as 10 cm (3.9 in), which is tipped with barbs, a highly efficient device that enables the bird to extract insects from cracks and crevices and from tunnels bored by insect larvae and extracted by termites and ants.[1]


Typical woodpeckers feed on mainly arthropods, particularly insects and spiders, but will also consume plant food (fruits, seeds and berries). Nestling birds may also be taken, not only from holes in trees, but also from nest-cups as well as nests from a penduline tit.[1]




  1. ^ a b c d e Winkler, Hans; Blume, Dieter (2003). "Woodpeckers". In Christopher Perrins. Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Firefly Books. pp. 408–15. ISBN 1-55297-777-3. 

External links

Wrybill This article is part of Project Bird Subfamilies, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each bird subfamily, including made-up families.
Hemipus picatus This article is part of Project Bird Taxonomy, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every order, family and other taxonomic rank related to birds.
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