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 upperparts 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 deadwood 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.

Where to see Green Woodpeckers

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

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Richmond Park
England
38%
low
4.4
very good
8
reports
Knole Park
England
17%
very low
3.7
good
6
reports
Peckham Rye
England
15%
very low
3.1
good
33
reports
Sydenham Hill Wood
England
8%
very low
3.3
good
12
reports
One Tree Hill
England
1%
very low
3.3
good
107
reports

Photo credit: maxmann under a Creative Commons license from Pixabay

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