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Pileated Woodpecker
Scientific classification
many: see species list

Woodpeckers are near passerine birds of the order Piciformes. They have a world-wide distribution with many species, usually numbered at 218 (including the Ivory-billed).

Some woodpeckers and wrynecks in the order Piciformes have zygodactyl or “yoked" feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. These feet, though adapted for clinging to a vertical surface, can be used for grasping or perching. Several species have only three toes. The long tongue found in some woodpeckers can be darted forward to capture insects.

Woodpeckers gained their English name because of the habit of some species of tapping and pecking noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. This is both a means of communication to signal possession of territory to their rivals, and a method of echo-locating grubs under the bark of the tree.

This group is related to other Piciformes as below:

Order Piciformes

The last two families are sometimes separated as the order Gabuliformes.

Two distinctive groups of small woodpeckers, the wrynecks, genus Jynx, and the piculets, genera Picumnus, Sasia and Nesoctites, have their own group articles.

Species list