Saturday, 8 December 2007

Anatomy, structure: tail

Most woodpeckers have rigid, strong central tail feathers which they use as props and supports when on tree trunks and branches. A sold, firm posture is important when a woodpecker is hacking at timber and the strong tail helps provide this. Note how the tail feathers on this male Black Woodpecker (photo by Gabor Vasuta, Hungary) are splayed and pressed against the branch, acting as stabalisers. The bird is not really perched, but rather presssed against the branch.

No comments: