Identification of Wryneck

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birds of Britain and Europe ID Guide | Woodpeckers | Wryneck Jynx torquilla |  Identification of Wryneck

Identification of Wryneck

Identification of Wryneck

Length 16cm.Size and shape closely resembling a large warbler (e.g a Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria).However,a close view soon reveals its 'Nightjar like' camouflaged plumage.A mainly migratory relative of woodpeckers (BWP) the wrynecks flight is rather ordinary but often glides for long distances on closed wings.Often shows an elongated and contorted shape.Perches frequently (below Pic.Robert Freeman) but also commonly found on the ground.Call can easily be confused with that of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. A series of field recordings can be heard on (home page coming soon) by selecting 'Wonderful woodpeckers' on the radio player.(Broadband connection recommended).Food mainly insects but sometimes exclusively ants (Formicidae) (BWP).
From the subfamily JYNGINAE (wrynecks) of which there are two species including The Afrotropical Red-breasted Wyneck (Jynx ruficollis).

During migration wrynecks often turn up at on the east coast of the Uk.Pic R freeman

First sightings and locations for Wryneck Britain and Ireland 2004

In depth observation charts and graphs for Wryneck in Britain and Ireland can be found on the BTO 'Birdtrack' web site by clicking here

Wryneck head

Wryneck head

Often seen foraging on the ground, the Wryneck is a rare breeding bird but regular migrant mainly seen on the east coast of Britain.When seen at close range its snaking 'reptile' head movements make the Wryneck unmistakable.The overall impression is of a grey-ish plumage with a brown and buff mottling.
Flying mainly at night, the Wryneck generally covers its migration from the savannas and drier areas of Central & western Africa to its breeding grounds in around eight days (Winkler, Christie & Nurney. A Guide to the woodpeckers,piculets and Wrynecks of the World)
available here

Wrynecks are often seen on the ground.Picture courtesy of Martien Brand
Wonderful Woodpeckers A series of Woodpecker field recordings are now playing on listen click on this link or the picture (left). You can then curse through the radio player listings to select this programme and even use the player as you browse this site or indeed the rest of the Internet.Also check out our podcasts page (access from the home page).If you have an aggregator (podcatcher) you can receive free programmes and bird recordings.

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birds of Britain and Europe ID Guide | Woodpeckers | Wryneck Jynx torquilla |  Identification of Wryneck

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