There are 22 species of woodpeckers in North America, the most common being the Downey Woodpecker. Also quite ubiquitous are the Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker and the Northern Flicker. The blackish-green Lewis woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in the US at 11 inches long, A woodpecker's tongue can be as long 4 inches, depending on the species, and many woodpeckers have barbed tongues to extract bugs from trees and holes. The birds live about 4-11 years, depending on the species. The important thing to note about these birds is that they’re all protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which means they can’t be killed or harmed without incurring severe legal penalties.
Holes and More Holes
Woodpeckers can peck up to 20 times per second, or a total of 8,000-12,000 pecks per day. The birds damage residential and commercial buildings, drilling large holes in eaves, window frames and trim boards. Cedar, redwood siding, plywood, pine, fir, cypress—virtually all woods are vulnerable. They can quickly disfigure board-and batten or tongue-and-groove siding, especially at the seams, leaving gaping, baseball size holes. Continue reading