Eurasian Wryneck/Jynx torquilla

Eurasian Wryneck/Jynx torquilla - Photographer: Frank Schulkes
Eurasian Wryneck/Jynx torquilla - Photographer: Николай Шопов
Eurasian Wryneck/Jynx torquilla - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov
Eurasian Wryneck/Jynx torquilla - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov

The Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) is a species of wryneck in the family of woodpeckers.

This species breeds in temperate regions of Europe and Asia. It is migratory, wintering in tropical Africa and southern Asia. It is a bird of open woodland and orchards. On migration it is frequently seen in sandy areas, where it forages for ants.

This species measure 16–18 cm (6.3–7.1 in) in length and weighs 26–50 g (0.92–1.8 oz).[2] Their bills are shorter and less dagger-like than in the other woodpeckers, but their chief prey is ants and other insects, which they find in decaying wood or almost bare soil. They re-use woodpecker holes for nesting, rather than making their own holes. The eggs are white, as with many hole nesters.

These birds get their English name from their ability to turn their heads almost 180 degrees. When disturbed at the nest, they use this snake-like head twisting and hissing as a threat display. This odd behaviour led to their use in witchcraft, hence to put a "jinx" on someone.

They nest in existing holes.They lay 7 to 10 eggs on May-June

There are six subspecies:

Jynx torquilla chinensis Hesse, 1911

Jynx torquilla himalayana Vaurie, 1959

Jynx torquilla mauretanica Rothschild, 1909

Jynx torquilla sarudnyi Loudon, 1912

Jynx torquilla torquilla Linnaeus, 1758

Jynx torquilla tschusii O. Kleinschmidt,1907


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