Deep Dive: Eurasian Wrynecks

by Chris Anderson on April 16, 2023

Have you heard of the Eurasian Wryneck? These birds are part of the woodpecker family, although they stand out from woodpeckers because they don’t share behavior. They’re known as Jynx torquilla and they stand about 6 inches tall and have a wingspan of about 10 inches.1&2
Eurasian Wrynecks are brownish-grey.2 They can be found on the continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe.3 They don’t peck into trees like other members of the woodpecker family. Instead, they forage on the ground for their favorite food: ants.2 
These birds used to be associated with witchcraft because of their behavior.1 In order to scare off predators, they move their heads around in a similar movement to snakes. As they’ve evolved, they’ve used the strong neck muscles they have, not for pecking into trees, but for making this movement so they don’t get eaten.3 
Check out a really cool video of it here.  
Everything You Need for an Owl Pellet Lesson

Owl Pellet Exploration Activity 
Includes sterilized owl pellet, forceps, paddle pick, and instructional chart.
Barn Owl & Pellet Poster Set 
Learn more about Barn Owls and how owl pellets are formed!
Bone Box 
To save all the treasures you find!