Green woodpecker

Species profile

Name: the European green woodpecker (Picus viridis) is one of four species of green woodpecker.

Appearance: they have heavy-looking bodies, short tails, and long beaks. They are green on their upper parts with pale bellies and red patches on the tops of their heads.

Size: green woodpeckers typically reach a length of around 30 cm with a wingspan of around 40 cm.

Diet: they feed on ants – using their beaks to dig into ant colonies and their long and sticky tongues to reach the ants. 

Did you know: compared to other woodpeckers, they have relatively weak beaks. When making their nest holes in trees, they usually chisel into dead wood and rarely drum to communicate. They are sometimes known as ‘rain birds’. This is because they are thought to call more when rain is imminent. They have a recognisable loud, laughing call known as a ‘yaffle’, which is often the only way you know a green woodpecker is nearby.

Location: they can be seen in woodlands and grassy areas across Europe and Western Asia.

Best places to see Green Woodpeckers

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the best places to see green woodpeckers are as follows:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Richmond Park
England
38%
low
4.4
very good
8
reports
Sydenham Hill Wood
England
8%
very low
3.3
good
12
reports

Photo credit: maxmann under a Creative Commons license from Pixabay

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