wood·​peck·​er | \ ˈwu̇d-ˌpe-kər How to pronounce woodpecker (audio) \

Definition of woodpecker

: any of numerous birds (family Picidae) with zygodactyl feet, stiff spiny tail feathers used in climbing or resting on tree trunks, a usually extensible tongue, a very hard bill used to drill the bark or wood of trees for insect food or to excavate nesting cavities, and generally showy parti-colored plumage

Illustration of woodpecker

Illustration of woodpecker

Examples of woodpecker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web People enjoy watching woodpeckers going at suet blocks. oregonlive, "How to put out the welcome mat for birds this winter," 29 Oct. 2019 No other woodpecker species stores their food supply in this manner. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Woodpecker offers unique clue that winter is coming," 19 Oct. 2019 Herons, egrets, sandhill cranes and pileated woodpeckers are among the dozens of species of birds that hang out here. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$2.5M restored Oakland Township mansion is on 37 acres," 14 Sep. 2019 In the natural world’s symphony orchestra, woodpeckers are the percussionists. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "The percussive appeal of the woodpecker," 17 July 2019 Suddenly, a flash of black, red and white exploded from the greenery as the big, crested woodpecker swooped across our yard and into a neighbor’s tall oak. Bruce Beehler, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Why doom and gloom won’t help us fight climate change," 23 Aug. 2019 Once a month, groups of 20 to 30 students tromp through nearby fields at 7:30 a.m., before class, hoping to spot a woodpecker, oriole or scarlet tanager with binoculars supplied by the Harford Bird Club. Mike Klingaman, baltimoresun.com, "Harford youngsters’ interest in birding is piqued through programs in the county," 20 Aug. 2019 Birdwatchers can find sought-after species for life lists, including bald eagles, osprey, the pileated woodpecker, waterfowl and songbirds. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan adds 1,000-acre forest near Au Sable to public lands," 8 Aug. 2019 Birds like woodpeckers, heron, egrets, ibis, coots, ducks and osprey can be found in the park along with alligators, otters and manatees. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida Springs Guide: De Leon Springs State Park," 10 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'woodpecker.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of woodpecker

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for woodpecker

Time Traveler

The first known use of woodpecker was circa 1530

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Statistics for woodpecker

Last Updated

23 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Woodpecker.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woodpeckers. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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How to pronounce woodpecker (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of woodpecker

: a bird that has a very hard beak which it uses to make holes in trees to get insects for food


wood·​peck·​er | \ ˈwu̇d-ˌpe-kər How to pronounce woodpecker (audio) \

Kids Definition of woodpecker

: a bird that climbs trees and drills holes in them with its bill in search of insects

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More from Merriam-Webster on woodpecker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with woodpecker

Spanish Central: Translation of woodpecker

Nglish: Translation of woodpecker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about woodpecker

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