(noun) The scientific family of birds that includes all woodpeckers, as well as piculets, wrynecks and sapsuckers. This large bird family includes approximately 220 species and are recognizable worldwide, though none are found in Australia, Madagascar, Antarctica or many small oceanic islands. While both genders of some Picidae species are dimorphic with males and females having slightly different markings and males often with stronger patches of color, many other woodpeckers are difficult to identify by gender.
Characteristics shared by most birds in this family include:
- Strong, straight bill suitable for drilling into surfaces
- Cavity-nesting preferences
- Primarily insectivorous diet supplemented by fruit, sap or nectar
- Drumming to claim territory or communicate
- Zygodactyl feet with two forward-facing toes and two backward-facing toes
Familiar birds in the Picidae family include the acorn woodpecker, common flameback, hairy woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, ivory-billed woodpecker, Orinoco piculet, yellow-bellied sapsucker and northern flicker.
Photo – Rufous-Winged Woodpecker © Steve Garvie
PIH-cih-deye or pih-SEYE-day