Woodpeckers vary in length from about 6 to 18 inches (15 to 46 centimeters). They are often black and white with patches of red or yellow on the head. Most woodpeckers fly with short swoops. Each of their feet has two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backward. Woodpeckers have sharp and strong beaks for effective drilling into the trunk. The long sticky tongue helps them grasp insects. To prevent brain damage due to repeated drilling and pecking, Woodpeckers have certain features. Woodpeckers have a flexible and small brain. There are actually about 180 species of woodpecker. Most of them spend their lives in trees searching for insects, although some species eat acorns, tree sap, and fruits. All woodpeckers fall into the scientific family group called Picidae. Coloration varies between species, but most woodpeckers have black-feathered bodies with white patches and a red crest atop their heads. Certain varieties, such as the Magellanic and the red-headed woodpecker, have heads that are entirely red in color. They are often found in woodlands, along rivers, in orchards, parks, open country, savannas and grasslands with scattered trees. In general, they like habitats that have tall, old trees. Woodpeckers are smart birds and very resourceful. Like any wild animal, they are drawn to areas where there is food and shelter. If you have backyard feeders, chances are you get the pleasure of watching Downy Woodpeckers on a consistent basis. These relatively small woodpeckers love to frequent backyard feeders, and they are amazingly friendly with people. Woodpeckers have an important ecological role in helping to control populations of insect pests, and their nest holes are used by non-drilling species of birds and mammals. Their antics provide entertainment for scores of birdwatchers as well.