Why don’t woodpeckers get a headache?

Typically, a woodpecker can hammer its beak against the tree trunk about 12,000 times a day, looking out for insects to eat. But it does not hurt its head in this manner. This happens because its brain is held snugly, compact inside a skull made of a special bone that cushions it from these hard blows.


Skull Of A Woodpeker

The woodpecker’s skull is made of a thick, spongy bone that is able to absorb all the vibrations from the blows. It also has a special bone, called the hyoid, which acts like a seatbelt to hold the skull in place.

Tail Of A Woodpeker

Strong, stiff feathers at the woodpecker’s tail act as a back support. They get pushed back on the trunk as the woodpecker hammers on up
against the tree.

Beak Of A Woodpeker

The beak of a woodpecker is quite strong enough for the hammering purposes. The tip of the beak can even continue to repair itself, so that  it doesn’t get worn down with time.

Claws Of A Woodpeker

A woodpecker has clawed toes—two facing forward and two facing backward. These help the bird to get a firm grip on the trunk, while on action.

Fun Facts

  • A woodpecker can hit a tree trunk around 20 times per second!
  • The woodpecker finch is a rare bird that uses a tool: it pokes a twig into holes in tree bark to pull out tasty insects!

Related Questions:

  1. Can a woodpecker hammer on most hard surfaces?
  2. What type of a nest does a woodpecker build?
  3. How do woodpeckers communicate?

Objective Questions:

  • The strong bone in the skull of a woodpecker is called ______.
  • Woodpeckers can hammer about _______ times in a day.
  • ________ are the most favoured places of hammering by the woodpecker.
  • The ________ of the woodpecker can repair itself.
  • The claws of the feet of the woodpecker face on ______ sides.

True Or False:

  1. Woodpeckers can even make holes in concrete: _______
  2. Woodpeckers drum on the trees to communicate: _______
  3. Woodpeckers make holes in trees for nests: _______
  4. The woodpecker has a stiff tail: _______
  5. The beak of a woodpecker can break off easily: _______

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