Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hammer Down

Posted by Kirk
I snapped some quick shots of woodpeckers at lunch. They are not my finest work but they show something important than many people don't think about when it comes to woodpeckers. Those flashy red colors and impressive beaks get all the attention but what about those hard working tails?

Check out the tail on this Red-Bellied Woodpecker above. The tip is bent flat against the suet feeder. He's using his tail for balance while he hammers away. It is even more noticeable on the Pileated Woodpecker below.

Is is incredible how much of the tail is bent but you can really see how the tail is used for balance as well as power. Without the stiff tail, a woodpecker wouldn't be able to hammer away at trees with such force. Check out the video below. It isn't cropped in quite so close but you can clearly see the woodpecker using her tail for balance.