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Bird of the Week

Bird of the Week: Green-Barred Woodpecker

Woodpeckers are objectively awesome.

We are staying in South America for Bird of the Week this week, and that is because of the green-barred woodpecker. Woodpeckers are objectively awesome, and the green-barred woodpecker is no exception. How do I know this? Well, for one, I have eyes.

Francesco Veronesi

Need I say more??? Yes, that is my job. The green-barred woodpecker lives all over South America, from Brazil to Bolivia and into Argentina and Uruguay and Paraguay. Brazilians call it the “pica-pau-verde-barrado,” which is so much cooler than “green-barred woodpecker.” In Spanish, it’s referred to as the “carpintero real,” which is less cool than the Brazilian version, but still cooler than the English one. It loves loves loves to eat ants; I found a bird forum that says its diet “consists almost entirely of ants.” A bird that looks this good and also helps keep the ant population in check? Score!

This is also another bird where the men and the women look very alike. The males have that red stripe near its beak, and the females don’t.

Let’s get to the big stuff, though: the woodpecking. Here’s a great video of the green-barred woodpecker doing its thing.

This doesn’t have the big hammering noise that you might expect, but life is not always like a cartoon. Here’s another excellent video of two woodpeckers fighting.

Unlike the last few birds, green-barred woodpeckers are not seen as a threatened species yet, so they are in a relatively good spot to keep being themselves. Let’s keep it that way!