Why is the Wryneck so called?
The Wryneck gets its name from the ability to turn its head from side to side and back and forth in the manner of a snake. This ability is thought to imitate a snake, to deter predators from their nest. They will also assume this habit when held in the hand. See our video
The Wryneck Jynx torquilla is a member of the Woodpecker family of birds. It has a large head, compared to its body, and a very long tongue, used to extract insect prey from crevices. Like all Woodpeckers, it has the curiosity of having two front forward-pointing toes and two backward pointing ones; unlike all birds with three forward and one back.
This one was trapped at the Gibraltar Bird Observatory where it was measured, ringed and released; not before exhibiting its characteristic head-twisting feature.