This book details the natural history and cultural symbolism of a most unusual woodpecker – a species that neither excavates nest holes in trees, nor bores into wood to find insect prey. The elusive Wryneck is best renowned for performing a twisting, writhing head and neck display when threatened, but this ground-breaking study reveals many more secrets of its behavior and evolution. Detailed information is presented on the species' origins, taxonomy, anatomy, appearance, molt, calls, distribution, conservation status, habitats, movements, breeding, diet and relationships, along with a chapter on its closest relative, the Red-throated Wryneck.
The text is richly illustrated throughout with high quality photographs as well as sound spectrograms. This all-encompassing and engaging account has been written for a wide audience, whether professional ornithologist, citizen scientist, amateur birder, woodpecker aficionado and simply someone who wishes to learn more about this curious and remarkable bird.