Bird with strong claws and a stiff tail adapted for climbing and a hard chisel-like bill for boring into wood for insects.
Bird of the family Picidae, which drills holes in trees to obtain insects. There are about 200 species worldwide. The largest of these, the imperial woodpecker Campephilus imperialis of Mexico, is very rare and may already be extinct.
North American woodpeckers include four species of sapsuckers (genus Sphyrapicus), which drill and then tap holes in trees for sap and the attracted insects. The pileated woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus is the largest, about 43 cm/17 in long, with a red crest.