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Home Conservation Threats The Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) needs attention in Iran

The Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) needs attention in Iran

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The Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)

BOI marks Eurasian Wryneck in red status and needs to take urgent action to secure the future of this species. 

The Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) is small but distinctive member of small Old World woodpeckers.Wrynecks are small sparrow-sized birds, appearing grayish brown overall, with brown and buff mottling. They have a contrasting dark band running down from the back of the head onto the back. They feed almost exclusively on ants and unlike other woodpeckers, are seen mainly on the ground, and do not often climb up vertical trunks or branches.

 

The Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) is small but distinctive member of small Old World woodpeckers.

Wrynecks are small sparrow-sized birds, appearing grayish brown overall, with brown and buff mottling. They have a contrasting dark band running down from the back of the head onto the back. They feed almost exclusively on ants and unlike other woodpeckers, are seen mainly on the ground, and do not often climb up vertical trunks or branches.

unlike the true woodpeckers, wrynecks don't have large heads, but still have long tongues which they use to extract their insect prey and have zygodactyls feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backwards. However, they lack the stiff tail feathers that the true woodpeckers use when climbing trees, so they are more likely than their relatives to perch on a rock or branch rather than an upright trunk.

Their bills are shorter and less dagger-like than in the true woodpeckers, but their chief prey is ants and other insects, which they find in decaying wood or almost bare soil. They re-use woodpecker holes for nesting, rather than making their own holes. The eggs are white, as with many hole nesters.

The two species have cryptic plumage, with intricate patterning of grays and browns. The voice is a nasal woodpecker-like call.

 

 When disturbed, they use this snake-like head twisting and hissing as a threat display

These birds get their English name from their ability to turn their heads almost 180 degrees. When disturbed at the nest, they use this snake-like head twisting and hissing as a threat display. This odd behavior led to their use in witchcraft, hence to put a "jinx" on someone.


The wryneck is still a regular spring migrant in small numbers to sites in north and northern central habitats of Iran, and i didn't have a chance to spot any on autumn.

Best looked for on early summer when ants grow wings and start flying. I’ve find them very low in numbers though.

 

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 June 2008 17:59 )  

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