They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.
Wryneck Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Jynx torquilla and Jynx ruficollis
Wryneck Physical Characteristics
Brown, Chestnut, Light-Brown
An average of 3.5 years
0.92 to 1.76 ounces
Wryneck Distribition

” When intimidated, they turn their head like a serpent and hiss.”

The wryneck is an uncommon bird from the woodpecker family. It has a remarkable variety throughout 3 continents, consisting of Africa, Europe, and Asia. They reside in woodlands and forests, however you can additionally discover them in suv parks and yards throughout the reproducing period. Nevertheless, environment adjustment has actually influenced one species’ numbers and restricted their reproduction capacity. Discover whatever there is to find out about this interested bird, consisting of where they live, what they eat, and exactly how they act.

5 Incredible Wryneck Truths

  • Wrynecks have a substantial variety, extending over 100 nations throughout 3 continents.
  • Their label is “serpent- bird” due to the fact that they turn their neck and hiss at predators to mimic a serpent.
  • They have in reverse- encountering toes that enable them to hold on to upright frameworks like tree trunks while they forage for insects.
  • Their preferred food is ants!
  • If their protection methods do not function, they invent fatality by making their bodies limp and shutting their eyes.

Where to Locate the Wryneck

The wryneck lives in at the very least 100 nations throughout 3 continents: Africa, Europe, and Asia. You can discover them in the UK, India, China, Nigeria, Italy, and a lot more locations. They live in warm areas in Europe and Asia throughout the warmer months and move to exotic locations in Africa and Asia throughout the winter months. The red- necked wryneck is a citizen in its setting, that includes Below- saharan Africa (South Africa, Cameroon, Congo, and so on). In the summer season, you can discover them in parks, yards, orchards, open nation, deciduous forests, and coniferous woodlands. They reside in savannas, second forests, and forest sides in their African environments. You can additionally discover some in Japanese and Southerly Chinese seaside locations.

Wryneck Nest

The nesting website differs by schedule and consists of preexisting tree trunk openings, wall surface holes, nesting boxes, and financial institution openings. Their objective is to discover an area in a risk-free, protected location far frompredators They will certainly expel proprietors from their openings and burrows when required and reside. They do not make use of any kind of nesting product.

Scientific Name

The wryneck ( Jynx) is from the Piciformes order, that includes 9 family members of big arboreal birds. Woodpeckers, wrynecks, piculets, and sapsuckers come from the Picidae family, and a lot of species reside in woodland or forest environments. Their genus, Jynx, is Old Greek for “lynx,” a mythical fairy that made use of delights to cast spells. This genus includes 2 species: the Eurasian and red- throated (rufous- throated) wrynecks.

Dimension, Appearance, Habits

Wrynecks are more than likely virginal and companion forever, and the reproducing period runs from April to June.Edgar Smislov/Shutterstock. com

Wrynecks are long, slim birds that determine around 6.5 inches and consider in between 0.92 and 1.76 ounces. Their wingspan is about 10.5 inches, and have long, aimed beaks, though not as lengthy as various other woodpeckers. They additionally have slim legs and in reverse- encountering toes that enable them to hold on to trees. Its coloring is a multicolor brownish with brown, rufous (red- brownish), and black bars and markings. The rufous- necked wryneck has a spot of red- brownish hair on its upper body near its neck. These birds are reasonably social and develop tiny teams throughout the winter months and reside in sets throughout reproduction. Their telephone calls contain severe, repetitive expressions similar to a minimal discovered woodpecker. They additionally generate staccato alarm system telephone calls and hissing sounds when intimidated. Wrynecks can transform their heads 180 levels and utilize this function for connecting risks, distress, or courtship.

Movement Pattern and Timing

Rufous- necked wrynecks are nonmigratory and reside in their African settings year- round. The Eurasian wryneck is mostly migratory, with the exception of populaces in Northwest Africa. Others reproduce throughout Europe and Northern Asia and winter months in the exotic locations of Africa (Cameroon and the Main African Republic) and Southern Asia (India and China).


Wrynecks are insectivores that invest the majority of their time foraging in trees.

What Does the Wryneck Eat?

Ants are their key victim, however they additionally take in beetles, larvae, spiders, moths, and woodlice. Wrynecks jump along the ground in reduced hedges or top tree branches and forage for insects by swiftly prolonging and withdrawing their tongue. They can additionally climb up tree trunks at an angled angle by sticking with their feet and utilizing their tail as a prop.

Predators, Risks, and Conservation Status

The IUCN notes both wryneck species as LC or “least concern.” As a result of their comprehensive variety and big population dimensions, they do not come close to limits for “intimidated” condition. The Eurasian species has actually had a stable decrease in population because the 1800s and 1900s. The primary contributing element to its recurring decrease is the impacts of environment adjustment. Hefty rains pesters their reproduction period, resulting in much less effective reproduction. Various other elements consist of environment loss and chemical usage. The rufous- necked does not show up to have any kind of substantial risks. Actually, their numbers get on a stable slope.

What Consumes the Wryneck?

The wryneck’s predators consist of stoats, weasels, and predators (hawks, eagles, and owls). Fortunately, this bird has a couple of techniques to maintain them away. Its plumage blends with its setting, basically concealing it from neighboring trespassers. If they end up being disrupted at their nest, they execute a serpent- like head spin while hissing. This hazard display screen imitates a serpent and prevents numerouspredators Various other defenses consist of crouching in open locations and inventing fatality by hanging limp and shutting their eyes.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Wrynecks are more than likely virginal and companion forever, and the reproducing period runs from April to June. Females lay in between 5 to twelve plain white eggs; both sexes take transforms breeding for about 12 days. Both moms and dads feed the chicks, and they fledge the nest around 20 days old. Their young are sexually fully grown after one year and molt every year. They live approximately 3.5 years however can measure up to 5 or 10.


The worldwide wryneck population is unidentified, however Eurasian wrynecks represent at the very least 3 million to 7 million fully grown people. Nevertheless, that species has a lowering population fad and has actually had a stable decrease because the 19th century. Its down fad is related to environment adjustment, the farming market, and chemicals. The rufous- necked has a boosting population fad in South Africa as a result of the intro of trees right into meadows.

Up Following:



  1. Redlist, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/search?query=wryneck&searchType=species
  2. IBIS International Journal of Avian Science, Available here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1474-919X.2009.00956.x
  3. Ringing & Migration Volume 32 / Jacques Laesser & Rien van Wijk, Available here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03078698.2017.1437889

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