Great Spotted Woodpecker Facts

  • Scientific name: Pyrrhula pyrrhula

  • Family: Finches

  • Wingspan: 22 - 29cm (9 - 12")

  • Diet: Mainly seeds (mixes) & sunflower hearts, insects for juveniles

  • Feed with: Sunflower hearts, sunflower seeds/mixes and peanuts

  • Habitat: bullfinches love woodland areas, hedgerows and orchards.

  • Lifespan: 2 Years

  • Great Spotted Woodpecker Characteristics

    THE GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER is characteristically and primarily black and white apart from dashes of deep scarlet at the end of the tail and the rear of the crown. With a white breast, cheeks and throat, and black and white striped wings, it's a stunning example of British wildlife.

    The great spotted woodpecker is fond of clinging to trees and branches. To avoid headaches, the bird is fitted with a reinforced skull and cushioned air holes. With a fanciful bouncing movement while in flight, the great spotted woodpecker often announces its presence with a loud call - listen to audio below

    Conservation Status of the Great Spotted Woodpecker

    The Great Spotted Woodpecker is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List

    The Great Spotted Woodpecker is classified as Least Concern

    Great Spotted Woodpecker Feeding

    THE GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER has a long tongue, ideal for flicking out at insects and capturing them at a distance. Typically, the woodpecker would search trees and dig to find insects and larvae. During the summer months, the great spotted woodpecker often preys on other birds' nests and steals the eggs for nutrition.

    IN THE GARDEN, it's possible to attract these birds by providing peanuts and suet balls in hanging feeders. In fact, it's more and more common to find great spotted woodpeckers feeding from peanut and suet feeders.

    Great Spotted Woodpecker Breeding & Nesting

    THE GREAT SPOTTED WOOKDPECKER nests by crafting a chamber in a tree trunk by chiselling with its beak at a rapid but firm rate.

    Great spotted woodpecker eggs are glossy, white and smooth. Breeding typically begins around mid-April, and the incubation period runs between 10 - 16 days, during which both male and females contribute. The species is abundant in the UK and hasn't experienced in decline in numbers in recent years.

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