Woodpeckers are known as specialized tree climbers. These are birds with a strong bill and stiff tail, climbing tree trunks in search of food.
The three most recognizable woodpeckers we see in Kabalebo are:
- the Crimson - Crested Woodpeckers (noticeable by the white V- shape on their back)
- the Lineated Woodpecker (2 white lines on the back, but not connected)
- the Red - Necked Woodpecker (rufous breast and no white markings on their back)
They are also the largest species of the woodpecker family.
These birds fly from one tree to the other looking for food. Always starting from the lower level of the bark working their way up. They use their stiff tail as an extra support while using their strong bill as a chisel to find food. With their extendable tongue they reach woodboring insects and larvaes. They also sip sweet sap of trees.
Woodpeckers are territorial birds. On dead woods they make drum sounds which echoes clearly through the jungle. This is their method of marking their territory, unlike the soft chipping sound they make while looking for insects on tree trunks.
Woodpeckers make their own nest holes in tree trunks. After the chicks have left the nest, these nest holes are re-used by other birds.
During the years, I've developed a 'hide-and-seek' game with these birds. The moment they notice me, they hide behind the tree and work their way up from there, while I am still waiting or maneuvering my way to the backside of the tree. These woodpeckers are such great sportsmen. You got to love them for playing these tricky games with you.