Blasdell, New York

Marilyn O'Connell and Danielle Pecoraro

Marilyn O'Connell and Danielle Pecoraro

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Blasdell, New York

3835 McKinley Parkway
Blasdell, NY 14219

Phone: (716) 823-7889
Fax: (716) 823-7942
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Comments:
Located just South of the McKinley Mall on the same side.

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Fun Facts About Woodpeckers

  • Pileated Considering the pounding it takes, why doesn’t a Woodpecker’s bill wear down to a ragged nub? Wear down it does, but special cells on the end of the bill are constantly replacing the lost material. This keeps the chisel-pointed bill strong and resilient, while actually allowing it to be sharpened with every blow.
  • Woodpeckers use their stiff tail feathers for extra support when digging for insects or hollowing out a nest in a tree.
  • A Woodpecker’s pointed tail feathers are especially strong and rigid. The tail bone, lower vertebrae and the tail’s supporting muscles are also large in comparison to other birds. These modifications allow a woodpecker’s tail to serve as a prop that supports their weight as they climb and cling to trees.
  • Woodpeckers rarely climb down trees, their stiff tail feathers and relatively short legs are much better adapted for climbing upwards instead of down.
  • Downy WoodpeckerThe contrasting black and white pattern found on the backs of many woodpeckers helps to conceal them from predators. Known as disruptive coloration, this sharp contrast in colors helps to break-up and conceal the shape and outline of a woodpecker as it climbs the side of a tree.The barbed tip of a woodpecker’s tongue is very sensitive to touch and can both detect and impale insect larvae. The tongue is coated with sticky mucus that is secreted by large salivary glands; this coating helps to ensure that its prey does not slip away.
  • Most woodpeckers’ tongues are two to three times longer than their bills.
  • The base of some Woodpeckers’ long retractable tongues reaches entirely around the back and top of the skull and ends behind the right nostril.
  • To prevent small bits of debris from Hairy Woodpeckerentering their nostrils while excavating trees, woodpeckers have tufts of stiff feathers growing over both nostrils.
  • Woodpeckers have a third eyelid to help protect their eyes from debris while drilling into trees.
  • Woodpeckers have a thicker skin than most other birds, an adaptation that has probably evolved from their constant contact with the rough bark of trees.
  • Woodpeckers are among a very few birds that have zygodactyl feet – which simply means they have two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backwards. Most birds have an arrangement of three toes Red-Bellied Woodpecker on Tailprop Feederforward and one backwards. Having two sets of opposing toes gives them a much better grip on the trees they land on and climb.
  • While excavating a cavity, a woodpecker’s head can strike a tree’s surface at speeds up to 13 - 15 mph and do it at over 100 strokes per minute. This is equivalent to a person crashing head-first into a tree while running at top speed.
  • In order for woodpeckers to survive the 10G’s of force that they can sustain with every blow against a tree, they have the following special adaptations: Woodpeckers’ skulls and bills are incredibly strong and yet lightweight, due in part to the reinforcement provided by a meshwork of bony support struts.  The portion of the skull nearest the tip of the bill is also bolstered by extra layers of tough calcification.
    • The bones between the beak and the skull are joined by a flexible cartilage, which cushions the shock of each blow. 
    • The skull is made of spongy, air-filled bone and the brain is packed very tightly into the brain cavity, with little room to rattle around during impacts.
    • The shear force from each blow is directed not to the brain, but downward towards very strong neck muscles that act as shock absorbers.
    • A woodpecker’s head and body are always in a perfectly straight alignment when hitting a tree to avoid breaking its neck.Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Woodpeckers may find their hidden prey by sound and/or smell
  • As the woodpecker strikes the tree, hollow sounds may echo off of the tunnels (galleries) of wood boring insects (like thumping a watermelon.)
  • When feeding on wood, grubs make an audible sound that could be heard by a woodpecker.
  • Woodpeckers have a better sense of smell than most birds and may be able to detect the strong odor of the formic acid that ants, bark beetles and termites excrete (smells like Sweet Tarts).
  • During cold winter weather, tree-foraging birds such as woodpeckers do not increase their body fat as much as ground-foraging birds, probably due to the fact that they roost in cavities overnight and that snowfall rarely hampers their ability to find food in trees as compared with birds searching for it on the ground.
  • Most species of woodpeckers are born completely naked, unlike many other birds that are completely covered with soft down feathers when they hatch.
  • Downy Woodpecker on Seed Cylinder FeederTo help distinguish the difference between a Hairy and a Downy Woodpecker visiting your feeders, look for the Hairy’s chisel-like bill which is much longer than the Downy, which often equals the width of the rest of the head. The Downy’s head is twice as wide as its very short bill.
  • Beetle larvae and ants make up the largest portions of the Hairy Woodpecker’s natural diet.
  • While not a true sapsucker, the Hairy Woodpecker seems to enjoy a sweet drink on occasion as they have been reported to drink from sapsucker wells, hummingbird feeders and even sugar cane plants.
  • The smallest North American woodpecker is the Downy Woodpecker at 6" in length.
  • The Downy Woodpecker was first formally described by the Swedish biologist, Carolus Linnaeus in 1766.
  • In winter, small birds tend to lose heat faster than larger birds due to the ratio of surface area to weight. As a result, Downy Woodpeckers in Alaska are about 12 percent larger than they are in Florida.
  • The feather pattern on the back of head of Downy Woodpeckers is unique to every bird and Downys may use them to recognize other individual Downys.
  • Male Downy WoodpeckerScientific tests have determined that Downy Woodpeckers do actually use the presence of absence of the red patch on the back of other Downys' heads to determine whether they are male or female.
  • Male Downy Woodpeckers are dominate over female Downys and select the best feeding sites for their own use and defend them against the females.
  • Female Downy Woodpeckers have slightly longer tails than do the males. This may be explained by the fact that they spend more time foraging on vertical surfaces, such as tree trunks, and thus use their tail as a brace more often than their male counterparts, which spend most of their time foraging on smaller horizontal branches.