Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Headaches From Hammering

Two specialized adaptations are necessary for woodpeckers’ feeding strategy, one of which is known to all bird enthusiasts and the other of which is only known to a selected few of them.

Ability To Hammer Into The Wood

The first talent is the ability to hammer into the wood and throw the chips away while creating a nest cavity or looking for tasty beetle grubs. Despite the woodpecker’s head hitting the ground with at least 1,000 times the force of gravity (1,000 g), the bird doesn’t seem to be hurt. A 100 g collision with a human, however, would surely result in death. So why don’t woodpeckers have headaches or develop brain damage?