May 23, 2017

The Strength of the Woodpeckers

Did you know that a woodpecker can store 50,000 acorns in a big tree?  Read on to find more about these interesting little birds...

Published Nov 1, 2004
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Woodpeckers make their nests and food stores by pecking holes in trees. The speed at which a woodpecker bores into a tree with its bill is approximately 40 km/hour (25 miles/hour). This, in fact, is an extraordinary speed that could have damaged the woodpecker. However, there is a special locking system in the bird’s beak so that it does not sustain injury. If this special system did not exist, the woodpecker’s beak would crack in two because of the high speed. Besides, if the impact of the stroke went directly to the brain, then the bird would lose consciousness. Yet, such a thing never happens since Allah created the bird together with what it needs. The woodpecker’s brain is placed at the same level as its beak. Muscles on the lower part of the beak act like “shock absorbers” and reduce the shock that occurs while boring into the tree.

Forest

What we have mentioned so far are only a few of the general characteristics of woodpeckers. Apart from those mentioned, every woodpecker species has many characteristics peculiar to itself. Now let’s consider a kind of woodpecker that hides acorns in trees.

Throughout summer, the acorn woodpecker bores “holes” in a dead tree trunk because at the end of the summer it will fill these holes with acorns, on which it will feed during the winter. Acting like a hammer, it drives one acorn in each hole. This takes a great deal of the woodpecker’s time because it tries to find the acorn that fits exactly into the hole it has bored. If the hole is big and the acorn is small, then the loose acorn will easily be taken by other birds. If the hole is smaller than the acorn, then the acorn will be damaged while it is being forced into the hole. Therefore, it takes some time for the woodpecker to place acorns by trial and error.

Yet there is even more that a woodpecker needs to do. As acorns dry over time they become smaller. This means that the woodpecker should replace dry acorns with fresh ones.

It should also be noted that the woodpecker does not merely store 5 to 10 acorns; an acorn woodpecker can stock approximately 50,000 acorns in a big tree.

Reflecting upon these interesting characteristics, we understand that there is a superior Power Who teaches all these things to woodpeckers. This power is Allah. Allah created the beaks of woodpeckers strong enough to drill bark. It is Allah Who taught them everything they do. There is no other god and creator besides Allah. Allah reminds us often that He is the Creator and Lord of everything.

That is Allah, your Lord. There is no god but Him, the Creator of everything. So worship Him. He is responsible for everything. (Surah al-An‘am: 102)

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