Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?

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Offline Karen W.

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  Can they break their beaks whilst pecking on trees? Can wood be hard enough to hurt them.


Is their beak that hard, that it is as tough and long lasting.....like the energizer bunny? Keeps going


and going,and going, or does it become damaged and weaken with age???


I would like you to peck your way into my heart with some lovely answers!!!
« Last Edit: 27/01/2008 23:54:29 by Karen W. »

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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They could have problems with mahogany; but I don't know if woodpeckers and mahogany trees are co-existent.

You'd think they'd want to make life easy for themselves and migrate to where balsa trees grow.

Heh... I've just conjured up a picture of a woodpecker pecking at a cork tree and ending up with its beak stuck in a lump of cork  [:D]

Hey, here's a question for you... how do woodpeckers avoid the sap sticking their beak together?  [???]

Their favourite music is a cross between heavy metal and happy hardcore - head-banging at 180bpm!  [;D]

But why has Karen posted a thread about wood?  And peckers! [:I]
« Last Edit: 27/01/2008 23:49:23 by DoctorBeaver »
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Offline Karen W.

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LOL LOL..Yep Thats funny!

How do they keep it from sticking!

Hey Eth, I lost my PW for Beaverland and user name do you think you could mail it to me... LOL Lost my whole old windows system... with my mind!

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Offline Karen W.

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Dude You just edited that and I missed the last edit.....Oh Dear I did it again...

Thanks doc....I better fix it! LOL! [:I] [:I]

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Offline Karen W.

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 [:)] [:)] [:)] [;D] [;D] [;D] [;D] [;D] [;D] [:X]

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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LOL LOL..Yep Thats funny!

How do they keep it from sticking!

Hey Eth, I lost my PW for Beaverland and user name do you think you could mail it to me... LOL Lost my whole old windows system... with my mind!

I can't send you your old 1 as they are all encrypted in the database. I'll set a new 1 for you & email you that. That'll have to wait until tonight, though, as I'm signing off now coz I've got a really busy day ahead of me.
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Offline Karen W.

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Thanks doc.. sorry for the trouble!

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Offline JnA

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  Can they break their beaks whilst pecking on trees? Can wood be hard enough to hurt them.

that's a good question. I've asked someone that might know the answer, hopefully they'll get back to me soon.



Heh... I've just conjured up a picture of a woodpecker pecking at a cork tree and ending up with its beak stuck in a lump of cork  [:D]

you made me pick up a pen and paper...


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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Class!  [:D]

That's almost exactly what I was imagining.
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Offline JnA

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According to my ornithologist friend, yes! woodpeckers (and other birds) do break and crack their beaks.
Depending on how big the crack is and where it is cracked will depend on survival rate.
Some can repair.. but large cracks or complete breaks would usually mean starvation in the wild. 

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Offline Karen W.

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #10 on: 03/02/2008 13:02:42 »
  Can they break their beaks whilst pecking on trees? Can wood be hard enough to hurt them.

that's a good question. I've asked someone that might know the answer, hopefully they'll get back to me soon.



Heh... I've just conjured up a picture of a woodpecker pecking at a cork tree and ending up with its beak stuck in a lump of cork  [:D]

you made me pick up a pen and paper...



Great Piccy JnA..cute..

Wow Thanks for following through with your friend... That is so sad that they wouldn't make it with larger breaks and cracks in their beaks. I had often wondered if that ever happened. Their beaks must be tough and I would hate to have a run in with a pecker like that.

So if one found  a critter in that way, and his beak was broken and he could no longer peck, if taken to an animal rescue could they help the bird, or fix the beak, or would they put them down or feed them themselves?

So I wonder how the smaller cracks mend themselves?
« Last Edit: 03/02/2008 15:27:13 by Karen W. »

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #11 on: 03/02/2008 13:19:51 »
If a parrot cracks its beak you can fix it with Polyfilla  [:D]
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Offline JnA

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #12 on: 03/02/2008 13:21:23 »

Wow Thanks for following through with your friend... That is so sad that they wouldn't make it with larger breaks and cracks in their beaks. I had often wondered if that ever happened. Their beaks must be tough and I would hate to have a run in with a pecker like that.

So if one found  a critter in that way, and his beak was broken and he could no longer peck, if taken to an animal rescue could they help the bird fix the beak or would they put them down or feed them themselves?

So I wonder how the smaller cracks mend themselves?

She said that their beaks are basically keratin (like your nails) and that they grow much like nails, so smaller cracks and splits would just work their way out in growth.

She also mentioned that an animal rescuer *could* feed a bird injured in this way, but that a complete break may mean the beak doesn't grow back properly, so the bird would forever be in captivity. I guess euthanasia would be up to the carer and if they could find a suitable home for them.

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Offline Karen W.

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #13 on: 03/02/2008 15:23:48 »
If a parrot cracks its beak you can fix it with Polyfilla  [:D]

What is Polyfilla?? Is that like something like denture adhesive.....?? ...OH jeesh I got it!!!!!! LOL LOL..Sorry doc I am so slow sometimes! ... LOL quite good Doc you had me for a moment!!! LOL!

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Offline Karen W.

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #14 on: 03/02/2008 15:25:47 »

Wow Thanks for following through with your friend... That is so sad that they wouldn't make it with larger breaks and cracks in their beaks. I had often wondered if that ever happened. Their beaks must be tough and I would hate to have a run in with a pecker like that.

So if one found  a critter in that way, and his beak was broken and he could no longer peck, if taken to an animal rescue could they help the bird fix the beak or would they put them down or feed them themselves?

So I wonder how the smaller cracks mend themselves?

She said that their beaks are basically keratin (like your nails) and that they grow much like nails, so smaller cracks and splits would just work their way out in growth.

She also mentioned that an animal rescuer *could* feed a bird injured in this way, but that a complete break may mean the beak doesn't grow back properly, so the bird would forever be in captivity. I guess euthanasia would be up to the carer and if they could find a suitable home for them.
That would be sad... I would rather take care of the bird then to put it down!..Very interesting critters those woodpeckers!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #15 on: 03/02/2008 21:06:58 »
Some woodpeckers peck quite gently, others peck really hard. From what I hear, Karen prefers really hard peckers.  [:I]
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Offline Karen W.

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #16 on: 03/02/2008 21:35:00 »
Huh???

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #17 on: 03/02/2008 21:37:55 »
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Offline Karen W.

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #18 on: 03/02/2008 21:45:42 »
Some woodpeckers peck quite gently, others peck really hard. From what I hear, Karen prefers really hard peckers.  [:I]

OH MY GAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWD! You are terrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  [:I] [:I] [:I] [:I] [:I] [:I] [:I] [:I]

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #19 on: 03/02/2008 22:00:29 »
It's 1 of my more endearing qualities  [:D]
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Offline Karen W.

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #20 on: 03/02/2008 22:14:40 »
Endearing..LOL !!  [:)]

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #21 on: 03/02/2008 22:18:27 »
Yes. I have a whole row of earings and that 1 happens to be on the end  [;D]
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Offline Karen W.

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #22 on: 03/02/2008 23:00:03 »
LOL... I am curious whats in between??? LOL

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #23 on: 03/02/2008 23:08:16 »
More earings, of course  [::)]
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Offline JimBob

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #24 on: 03/02/2008 23:38:42 »
So you got the Elton John hair transplant anyway, huh?
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #25 on: 03/02/2008 23:57:39 »
Nah, I settled for a comb-over  [:D]
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Offline Karen W.

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #26 on: 16/09/2008 10:48:16 »
Hey guys do the woodpeckers actually eat the wood as nourishment..??? I am assuming after JnA answer that they do! I thought it was only pecking the wood for bugs etc..??

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Offline Don_1

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #27 on: 17/09/2008 17:07:22 »
If a woodpecker cracks it's beak while pecking at a tree, it uses some of the sap to glue the beak back together. It's a system known as treemendus!
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline RD

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #28 on: 17/09/2008 17:20:54 »
A budgie with no beak is born to succeed.   [:)]

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Offline Shari1965

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Do woodpeckers ever break their beaks whilst pecking on trees?
« Reply #29 on: 02/02/2010 15:26:09 »
I would like to know what the survival rate is for a woodpecker with a broken beak right at the nose? I have one in the middle of winter that is eating the suet outside my window. Should I make sure that the suet is always available to her to help her out for now?? When the beak finally falls off will she end up dying??