This Pileated Woodpecker must not have been as camera shy as the one’s around my place… excellent! This reminds me of some things I learned the other day watching a PBS Nature special.
Every time a woodpecker’s bill hits the wood, up to 20 times a second face first knocking, the force is 20 times a boxer’s knockout punch.1 The force Woodpeckers can withstand the force of the constant blows against their face essentially because the muscles around their skulls retract back to absorb the force of the blows while their incredibly long and muscular tongues go back and wrap up and around the skull to cushion it! And some woodpeckers even have an inner eyelid to protect its eyes from wood shavings!
How extraordinary is that?!?
Thanks for taking such a photo and sharing it with the world!
- PBS Nature [↩]