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Conservation status: Red

Wrynecks are small sparrow-sized birds, appearing greyish overall, with brown and buff mottling. They have a contrasting dark band running down from the back of the head onto the back. They feed almost exclusively on ants and unlike other woodpeckers, are seen mainly on the ground, and do not often climb up vertical trunks or branches.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Jynx torquilla

Family

Wrynecks and woodpeckers (Picidae)

Where to see them

The wryneck is still a regular autumn migrant in small numbers to sites in eastern and southern coasts, and a few are seen each spring. Occasionally seen in gardens in autumn.

When to see them

Best looked for on autumn passage in August and September but can be seen in spring, usually May.

What they eat

Ants

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-0-1 pairs-280 birds

Distribution

Key

Audio

Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto