Woodpecker… Superhero? No… just incredible design

woodpecker

Do you have woodpeckers near you? They have always fascinated me. Any bird that can bash its head on a tree all day at the speed of a machine gun without getting a giant headache is definitely worthy of attention. Moving their head faster than a speeding bullet, they hammer faster than a sub-machine gun and experience 250 times more force than an astronaut lifting off into outer space. Their beak should crumble; their skull should crack and its brain should end up mush. So how do they do it? Headache pills? Are they a superhero? No. Let’s have a look at the many incredible design features God has given them. And unless ALL of these features are there AND working correctly from the very start, NONE of it will work! This is called ‘irreducible complexity’.

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WOODPECKER ~ ARTICLE FOR KIDS (A4) ~ FREE PRINTABLE

Designed by Paper Gifts for Estefany and giving glory to God as Creator.

Woodpecker Free Printable Article for Kids A4

DOWNLOAD

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LAMINATE / BINDER

For your homeschool students, you may like to laminate them to keep them looking nice. Or put them in a binder, add some FREE colouring pages, puzzles, crafts (you will find them below) and make your own DIY Activity Book.

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OTHER LANGUAGES

This article is also available in French. For my other children who are NOT ENGLISH or FRENCH speaking, I still send it to them but make sure I INCLUDE ALL TEXT IN THE LETTER so that it gets translated (note: this may no longer be necessary with the updated Compassion guidelines, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide), add a short note, some hugs and kisses and that’s an extra letter done. If you would like to do this for your child too, you are welcome to ‘copy and paste’ any of my text (scroll down).

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woodpecker hole

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WOODPECKER ~ COLOURING PAGES / PUZZLES / CRAFTS FOR KIDS ~ FREE PRINTABLE

Woodpecker – fun facts for kids  (Answers in Genesis) from scientists who take the Bible seriously

Woodpecker colouring page with a brain teaser twist  by Paper Gifts for Estefany. The woodpecker is confused. Someone has told him he was not specially designed by God, but has somehow evolved all his incredible features by accident. Help him think about it while he pecks his way through the tree. Help him organise his features into a logical order to see if he could have somehow survived while he evolved them all. Remember, he has to be able to survive while he develops only one special feature at a time. It is no good if he can drill a hole, but starves because he can’t get the bug. Conclusion: God had to create the woodpecker with all these features there and working correctly or he could not have survived. When I sent this to my kids, I sent about 5 or 6 copies so they could discuss it with their family and friends. This puzzle is also available in French.

Woodpecker free printable puzzle and coloring page A4

Woodpecker – colouring  free printable

Woodpecker – colouring  (Dover sample)

Woodpecker – colouring / puzzles / learn to draw  free printable

Woodpecker feeding chick – colouring (Dover sample)

Woodpecker – colouring  on green coloured background; free printable

Woodpecker – colouring pages (Goodsearch) free printable

Jazz up your colouring pages  shrink or combine colouring pages to make a unique scene; add a title, a border, a Bible verse and some clip art to make your colouring pages more interesting.

Design your own woodpecker puzzle   Creative idea: I took a blank round maze (to make it like a tree) and added a woodpecker from a colouring page on one side of my maze and shrunk it down. You may like to put their mate or a worm on the other.

* woodpecker great-spotted

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CREATIVE IDEAS – MAKE YOUR OWN:

Idea: add a Bible verse to your favourite woodpecker image and make your own:

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RELATED LINKS

Birds ~ FREE colouring pages, puzzles, crafts and creative ideas for kids

duck pond

Forest Animals ~ FREE colouring pages, puzzles, crafts and creative ideas for kids

squirrel

Bugs ~ FREE colouring pages, puzzles, crafts and creative ideas for kids

Spring / flowers – FREE colouring pages, puzzles, crafts and creative ideas for kids

spring-happy-flowers

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ARTICLE TEXT

WOODPECKER – SUPERHERO?

Woodpeckers should end up with one giant headache after banging their head on trees all day! While looking for bugs to eat, these birds hammer wood…. and even the occasional metal roof! Their head moves faster than a speeding bullet and they hammer faster than a powerful submachine gun! They exert so much force that its beak should crumble, its skull should crack and its brain should end up mush. So how do they do it? Are they a superhero? No. Let’s have a look at the special design features God has given them:

  • A very strong beak with a chisel edge
  • A very thick skull
  • 2 backward facing toes, to help them grip
  • Stiff tail feathers tipped with spines to hold them steady
  • A special sponge between the beak and skull to absorb the shock—far better than anything humans have invented.
  • Special muscles in the neck to protect their brain and hold their head perfectly straight
  • A built-in dust mask—fine wiry feathers over their nostrils—to keep the sawdust out!
  • They hammer wood 15 or 16 times every single second. In between each peck, the woodpecker opens its eyes… aims… then shuts them again! If they did not do this, the sudden stop between each peck would pop their eyes out! The force is 1000 times the force of gravity! That’s more than 250 times the force that an astronaut experiences during liftoff into outer space!
  • A very, very long tongue. In some species, it is so long it is rolled up and stored in its nose. When needed, it splits in two; each half passes over the skull and then comes around up under its beak!
  • Now, if you wanted to, could you put your tongue into a tree and pull out a reluctant bug? No. So how does the woodpecker do it? Its tongue is barbed, so it can stab the bug. He also has a little glue factory inside him, that puts some glue on the end of his tongue to keep that bug firmly in place. When he swallows the bug, does he swallow his tongue with it? No. Once the bug is in his beak, a solvent dissolves the glue before he swallows it!

Many people have been persuaded to believe that this incredible design took millions of years and happened all by itself! But ALL these special features had to be there AND working correctly from the very first woodpecker… or all that would be left is lots of very hungry woodpeckers with giant headaches and mouths filled with glue and sawdust!

This astonishing bird was exquisitely designed by God, the Master Designer who knew exactly what He was doing, in the very first week of history when the world was made.God gave them their special ability to hammer wood very fast, and to know where to find  bugs. Have a look in your Bible – in Genesis chapter 1 – and see if you can work out what day it was that God made flying creatures.* God also created every kind of creature to reproduce after its own KIND (or family).  When woodpeckers have a baby, we all know it will not be a cow, or a sheep, or a monkey. It will definitely be a baby woodpecker. God created so many wonderful things for us to care for and enjoy. Things that are beautiful…. intricate… mysterious… perfect. To teach us about Him. To show us how wonderful, magnificent, wise and powerful He is. So that we will worship Him! Jesus! God the Creator!

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Information from: creation.com ~ got questions about God and science? This is a fabulous site with lots of scientific information from a Biblical perspective, written by Ph.D. scientists (previously evolutionists) who take God’s Word seriously. They believe that God says what He means and means what He says. Like me, they are all about reinforcing the authority of Scripture and giving glory to God as designer.

And when you write to your Compassion child, don’t forget…  :)

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9 thoughts on “Woodpecker… Superhero? No… just incredible design

  1. Very cool. My yard is blessed with 4 different varieties of woodpeckers. My husband thinks its a curse because in nesting season we are forever chasing them off the sides of our house. They make nice big holes in the house if you let them. The electric pole at the bottom of our driveway was so full of acorns and riddled with nesting holes that it had lost structure strength and was in danger of coming down in a storm. So the electric company replaced it with a new metal pole, impervious to wood peckers. They LOVE it. They can’t hide acorns or make nests in it, but they will bang away on that pole all day long. Males use the loud banging noise to attract a female. They show off their bravado by the volume of the pecking. The louder the bird pecks, presumably the stronger and better provider he will be. The metal pole is so loud it can be heard all over the neighborhood. The electric company gave the woodpecker males a virtual microphone to announce “Hey ladies! Check me out!” They love that pole!

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