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Photo: White-headed woodpecker taps the tree

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Our photo of the day comes from Mammoth Lakes, California.

While a walk through the trees may be filled with the signature tap-tap-tap of a woodpecker, seeing the industrious birds isn't usually as easy as hearing them. Which is why I especially love this photo of a female white-headed woodpecker taken by Rollie Rodriguez.

In the image, you can see a few of the woodpecker's hand-dandy features that make it able to break into a tree to find its food. Defenders of Wildlife explains:

"The woodpecker's strong, pointed beak acts as both a chisel and a crowbar to remove bark and find hiding insects.

While most birds have one toe pointing back and three pointing forward on each foot, woodpeckers have two sharply clawed toes pointing in each direction to help them grasp the sides of trees and balance while they hammer ... Many woodpecker species also have stiffened tail feathers, which they press against a tree surface to help support their weight."

Strong beak, check. Tree-grasping toes, check. Stiff tail feathers, check!

Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on Flickr and add your pictures to the group.

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