Exploring the Woodpecker Diet: What Do They Like to Eat?

Woodpeckers are fascinating birds that can be found in many parts of the world. These birds have a unique set of characteristics that allow them to thrive in their environment. One of the most important aspects of their survival is their diet. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what woodpeckers like to eat and why it’s so important to their survival.

What Do Woodpeckers Eat?

Woodpeckers are omnivorous birds, which means they eat a variety of different foods. However, their diet primarily consists of insects and other small invertebrates, such as spiders and grubs. Woodpeckers are also known to eat tree sap, fruit, nuts, and seeds.
Insects are the primary food source for most woodpeckers. These birds use their strong beaks to drill holes into trees, and then use their long, sticky tongues to extract insects from inside. Some of the insects that woodpeckers eat include ants, beetles, termites, and caterpillars.
Woodpeckers also eat tree sap, which is a high-energy food that provides them with the nutrients they need to survive. To get to the sap, woodpeckers will drill holes in trees, causing the sap to flow out. They will then use their tongues to lick up the sap.
In addition to insects and sap, woodpeckers also eat fruits, nuts, and seeds. Some of their favorite fruits include berries, grapes, and apples. They also eat nuts, such as acorns and walnuts, which they will often store in tree cavities for later consumption.

Why is Diet Important for Woodpeckers?

A woodpecker’s diet is crucial to its survival. These birds have a high metabolism, which means they need to eat frequently in order to maintain their energy levels. In addition, their diet provides them with the nutrients they need to build strong, healthy bodies.
Insects are particularly important for woodpeckers because they are a rich source of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, and is particularly important for growing woodpecker chicks. Without a steady supply of insects, woodpeckers would struggle to survive.
Sap is also important for woodpeckers because it provides them with a source of sugar. Sugar is a quick source of energy, which woodpeckers need to fuel their constant activity. By eating sap, woodpeckers are able to maintain their energy levels throughout the day.
Finally, fruits, nuts, and seeds provide woodpeckers with a source of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are important for maintaining good health, and are particularly important for woodpeckers during the winter months when food is scarce.


Woodpeckers are fascinating birds with a unique diet. Their primary food source is insects, but they also eat tree sap, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Their diet is crucial to their survival, providing them with the nutrients and energy they need to thrive. By understanding what woodpeckers like to eat, we can help to ensure that these beautiful birds continue to thrive in our environment.