DNR Q & A: Do woodpeckers get a headache after a while?

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources field staff, resource managers and the DNR Information Center staff answer many questions every day about natural resources topics. Here is one of them:

Q. The same woodpecker pecks at our house non-stop. Do woodpeckers get a headache after a while?

Woodpeckers have well-adapted structures that act as shock absorbers inside of their heads. They have a hard, but elastic beak, a springy tongue-supporting structure called the hyoid and an area of spongy bone inside the skull. These features, in addition to cerebral fluid interact to suppress vibration in their head so they can peck all day without getting a headache.

-Lori Naumann, information officer - DNR Nongame Wildlife Program

For more information, call the DNR information line at 296-6157 or go to the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

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