‘Creepers and ‘Peckers


Lord knows there are bugs enough in the tropical jungle. A lot of them live on and eat the trees. And a lot of birds have evolved to eat those bugs. The variety of bug-eating birds is bewildering, even just the ones who specialize in bugs on and in trees. Here’s a sampler:

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

A cousin to North America’s Pileated Woodpecker, the Crimson-crested Woodpecker sounds like a hatchet hitting a tree when he drums.

Cream-colored Woodpecker

Cream-colored Woodpecker

Aout the size of Alaska’s Hairy Woodpecker. the uncommon Cream-colored Woodpecker is n especially handsome species. The backlighting in this shot didn’t do the bird any favors; sometimes the only photo you can get isn’t that hot.

Narrow-billed Woodcreeper

Narrow-billed Woodcreeper

In contrast to woodpeckers, who carve up the trees to get to the bugs, woodcreepers glean bugs from the bark, probing and poking. The bills reflect adaptation to the kind of tree bark and kind of bug they chase.

Straight-billed Woodcreeper

Straight-billed Woodcreeper

The handsome (and cooperative) Straight-billed Woodcreeper will approach a woodpecker, sometimes chipping of bits of bark to get at insects underneath.

Red-billed Scythebill

Red-billed Scythebill

Part of the endless surprises birds can give you is something like this: a seemingly mundate bird, rooting around in a cavity on a branch.

The Rest of the Red-bill

The Rest of the Red-bill

Who reveals a truly astonishing bill, nearly as long as he is, curved like the scythe that gives him his name.

All of these birds are dependent on a mature forest, and a variety of treets. The continuing logging and clearing in Brazil is a very serious threat to these two families of birds. As the remaining forest is fragmented, breeding and survival are increasingly critical problems.

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