The Woodpecker is from the family Picidae and is related to
the perching birds but not in the same family. Woodpeckers
are found all over the world except Australia, Madagascar,
New Zealand and the Polar Regions. Most species prefer to
live in wooded areas although some have been found living in
deserts or on rocky hillsides.
There are around two hundred species of woodpeckers and
since they live in forests, most are endangered due to loss
of habitat. There are two species of woodpecker that were
considered extinct for at least thirty years: the Imperial
Woodpecker and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. But in 2005
Ivory-billed Woodpeckers were spotted by wildlife scientists
in the state of Arkansas so there are hopes that the
population will recover somehow.
The smallest woodpecker is the Bar-breasted Piculet; it is
just over three inches (seven and one half centimeters)
long. The largest woodpecker was the Imperial Woodpecker
which was twenty-three inches (fifty-eight centimeters)
long. The second largest was/is the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.
If these two species are extinct then the Great Slaty
Woodpecker found in Southeast Asia, which is twenty inches
(fifty-one centimeters) long and weighs one pound (.45
kilogram), is the largest woodpecker in existence today.
A lot of woodpecker species show a dramatic difference
between the male and female. The bill length, size and
weight difference between the two sexes are very obvious on
Often it is the female that is larger than the male when
there isn't a strong difference between male and female.
When there is an obvious difference between male and female
usually the male is bigger.
Most species of woodpecker are colored in some variety of
mostly white, brown and black with some red or green
plumage. The Piculet Woodpeckers tend to show some olive
green or grey as well. Many species of woodpecker show
patches of yellow or red on their heads and bellies. The
darker plumage is often iridescent and the bright colors are
for signaling to other woodpeckers. The males are often more
colorful than the females although they are similar in
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