Woodpeckers (Family Picidae)

 

The woodpeckers, piculets and wrynecks are a family, Picidae, of near-
passerine birds. Members of this family are found worldwide, except for
Australia and New Zealand, Madagascar, and the extreme polar regions.
Most species live in forests or woodland habitats, although a few species
are known to live in treeless areas such as rocky hillsides and deserts.

 

There are about 200 species and about 30 genera in this family. Many
species are threatened or endangered due to loss of habitat or habitat
fragmentation. Two species of woodpeckers, the ivory-billed woodpecker
and the imperial woodpecker, have been considered extinct for about 30
years (there has been some controversy recently whether these species
still exist). The smallest woodpecker is the barbreasted piculet, at 7 g and
8 cm (3 1/4 inches). The largest woodpecker was the imperial wood
peck-

er, at an average of 58 cm (23 inches) and probably over 600 g (1.3 lb).

The ivory-billed woodpecker is (or was) slightly smaller at 50 cm (20

inches) and a weight of 500 g (1.1 lb). If both the ivory-billed and imperial woodpeckers are indeed extinct, the largest extant woodpecker is the great

slaty woodpecker of Southeast Asia, at about 50 cm (20 inches) and 450

g (1 lb).

 

 

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