Bird Species of the World's Boreal Forests


Jynx torquilla
Eurasian Wryneck

Eurasian Wryneck

An unusual member of the woodpecker family, the intricately marked grey, brown, buff and black plumage of the Eurasian Wryneck looks remarkably like tree bark and gives the bird excellent camouflage. Name derived from the habit of twisting its neck round.

This species feeds mainly on the ground, especially on ants. Nests in tree holes. It was once widespread but now only very rare; thought to be Scandinavian in origin. Mostly silent but, on breeding grounds, raptor-like piping calls are made by territorial birds.

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