An intimate look at what makes them so special, “Woodpeckers: The Hole Story” on NATURE – Nov. 2 at 8 pm

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Nature – Woodpeckers: The Hole Story

Premieres Wednesday, November 2 at 8 pm on PBS,, YouTube and the PBS Video app


Go deep into the woods to explore the lives of a unique avian family. Woodpeckers come in 239 species and live on every continent except Antarctica and Australia, playing a powerful role in every ecosystem they inhabit. They come in all shapes and sizes, each uniquely engineered for their particular lifestyles. Filmmaker Ann Johnson Prum (Nature: Super Hummingbirds) pecks away at what makes these birds so special through the intimate stories of woodpecker families across the world. Narrated by Paul Giamatti.

Acorn woodpecker in tree. Carmel, CA.
Acorn woodpecker in tree. Carmel, CA.

Buzzworthy Moments:

  • Black woodpeckers in Poland are elusive and have rarely been filmed. A pair of these large, imposing birds make a home in a beech tree, where they feed their hungry chicks.
  • Acorn woodpeckers love to collect acorns and “tattoo” them into the holes they create in trees. The acorns are woodpecker gold – high in vitamins, minerals, fats and protein. Placing these acorns into trees helps this food last throughout the winter.
  • Gila woodpeckers make their homes in cacti in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. After carving out the nest cavity in between the spines, the Gila must wait several months for the inner pulp to dry into a tough leathery casing before moving in.
Downy woodpecker on tree in winter. Brooklin, Maine.
Downy woodpecker on tree in winter. Brooklin, Maine.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • Woodpeckers talk to each other by drumming. Each species taps out its own rhythm to stake out a territory and call for a mate.
  • Holes are the woodpeckers’ universal trademark. No matter where they live, every woodpecker makes a hole for a home.