any of numerous climbing birds of the family Picidae, having a hard, chisellike bill that it hammers repeatedly into wood in search of insects, stiff tail feathers to assist in climbing, and usually more or less boldly patterned plumage.

1520–30; wood1 + pecker

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World English Dictionary
woodpecker (ˈwʊdˌpɛkə)
any climbing bird of the family Picidae, typically having a brightly coloured plumage and strong chisel-like bill with which they bore into trees for insects: order Piciformes

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1530, from wood (n.) + pecker (see peck (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They listened, face-to-face, their ears over woodpecker holes in the trunk.
Tells what species are increasing and how small birds survive by bunching
  together in bushes or woodpecker holes.
Now comes a sonic burst, as a downy woodpecker drills into a nearby trunk.
Two groups say the ivory-billed woodpecker is extinct.
Image for woodpecker
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