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Related to wryneck: piculet


common name for a primitive, unspecialized bird of the genus Jynx. The name is said to derive from their habit of twisting their necks when disturbed. Unlike other members of the family Picidae, which includes the woodpeckerswoodpecker,
common name for members of the Picidae, a large family of climbing birds found in most parts of the world. Woodpeckers typically have sharp, chisellike bills for pecking holes in tree trunks, and long, barbed, extensible tongues with which they impale their insect
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 and piculets, wrynecks neither climb nor drill, but rather perch horizontally and feed aground. Their bills are weaker and more rounded than those of true woodpeckers, and their long tongues are smooth, lacking the barbs and bristles of the other members of the group. They are thus thought to be ancestral to the more specialized members of the family. Two species of wrynecks are recognized: the migratory Eurasian wryneck (J. torquilla), and the tropical African wryneck (J. ruficollis). Both are solitary birds with soft, cryptically mottled plumage of grays, blacks, and browns. They feed on a number of insects but especially prefer ants. Like the other members of the family, they nest in unlined tree holes, where they lay their glossy, pure white eggs. The young are blind and featherless at birth. Wrynecks are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Piciformes, family Picidae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Jynx torquilla), a bird of the Picidae family. Length, 20 cm. Unlike woodpeckers, wrynecks cannot peck wood and have soft tailfeathers. They are distributed in Europe, Asia, and northwestern Africa. In the USSR they are found in mixed and broad-leaved forests and parks, north to the 62° or 64° parallel. They are migratory birds. Wrynecks begin breeding in May and nest in tree hollows and artificial nests, more rarely in burrows. There are 6 to 12 eggs in a clutch. When a nesting wryneck is disturbed, it stretches out its neck, turns it, and hisses. It feeds on insects, mostly ants, which it collects on anthills.


Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 1. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1951.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


either of two cryptically coloured Old World woodpeckers, Jynx torquilla or J. ruficollis, which do not drum on trees
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
He was then picked up by the HMS Wryneck, but she too was sunk after being bombed.
"I soon saw that it was a wryneck. The bird showed a dark mark through the eye and black lines down the shoulders.
The magic objects include the "iynx-wheel," a word derived from the "wryneck, a bird whose peculiar mating habits may have suggested its use in love charms" (34).
But a man who interrupts Chauco in the forest is stricken with wryneck, at the very least; sometimes he dies on the spot.
A Wryneck has stayed on Bardsey for much of the last week.
The present note is devoted to resolving the apparent implausibility of the learned name of the Eurasian wryneck, Jynx torquilla, a small species of woodpecker, having generated a popular word first attested in a Chicago newspaper from 1911: 'Dave Shean and "Peaches" Graham ...
HMS Wryneck, the small boat that plucked him from the churning water, was also destroyed.
Three bird species have disappeared, the Kentish Plover, Wryneck, and red-backed shrike.: The 15 most-threatened species of moth in Wales:These species have decreased at a rate of greater than 50% over the past 10 years.
Occasional visitors include bittern, hoopoe and wryneck.
Further excitement for birdwatchers this autumn was caused by the finding of a Wryneck at Kenfig, hot on the heels of a Yellow-Browed Warbler at the same locality, but neither bird stayed around long.
The cork oaks and shrub communities near the lakes contain wood pigeon (Columba palumbus), turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur), black kite (Milvus migrans), green woodpecker (Picus viridis), great spotted woodpecker (Picoides [=Dendrocopos] major), wryneck (Jynx torquillo), Cetti's warbler (Cettia cetti), blackcap (Sylvia atricapillla), Bonelli's warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli), and serin (Serinus serinus).