Great Spotted Woodpecker

Species profile

Name: the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is a medium-sized member of the woodpecker family. 

Appearance: they are easily recognised by their distinctive black and white colouring. Male woodpeckers and young birds also have bright red markings on their heads.

Size: great spotted woodpeckers measure around 25 cm long, weigh up to 100 grams, and have a wingspan that can reach 40 cm.

Diet: they eat a variety of foods including seeds extracted from pine cones, insect larvae from underneath the bark of trees, as well as eggs and young birds.

Did you know: great spotted woodpeckers are known for their loud and distinctive drumming. They do this to chisel into trees to find food, to make nest holes, and to communicate to other birds that the surrounding area is their territory. Like other woodpeckers, they have several adaptations which help protect their heads from the pressure of drumming. One of the most remarkable is their tongues. These long and highly unusual organs stretch through the mouth and up and around their skulls to provide a cushioned layer that protects against the vibrations!

Location: they can be found in woodlands, parks, and gardens across Eurasia from the UK to Japan and North Africa.

Where to see Great spotted woodpeckerS

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see great spotted woodpeckers in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
One Tree Hill
very low
Peckham Rye
very low

Photo credit: Carola68 under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay 

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