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Order Pici - Woodpecker birds

Order Pici - Woodpecker birdsMedium-sized and small birds, usually with plumage black and white, and always with some red feathers about the head. (The flicker is brownish and yellow instead of black and white.) Stocky, high-shouldered build; bill strong and long for drilling holes in bark of trees. Tail feathers pointed and stiffened to serve as a prop. Two toes before and two behind for clinging.

Usually seen clinging erect on tree-trunks; rarely, if ever, head downward, like the nuthatches, titmice, etc. Woodpeckers feed as they creep around the trunks and branches. Habits rather phlegmatic. The flicker has better developed vocal powers than other birds of this class, whose rolling tattoo, beaten with their bills against the tree-trunks, must answer for their love-song. Nest in hollowed-out trees.