Monday, 18 May 2015

Middle Spotted Woodpecker: sexes ?

Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius, Estonia, Gerard Gorman. The sexes are almost identical and often impossible to visually tell apart. The main difference in plumage is in the crown: both sexes have red crowns, but on females the rear crown is usually dull red, orange or yellow, on males it is red.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Europe's smallest woodpecker

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) is Europe's smallest picid. This is a male: females lack red on the crown. Budapest, Hungary, April 2015 (Gerard Gorman).

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Europe's only truly migratory woodpecker

Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla. Pag Island, Croatia, April 2015 (Gerard Gorman). This species is Europe's only truly migratory woodpecker. Most of Europe's breeding population winters in sub-Sahara Africa, leaving in autumn and returning in spring. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Syrian Woodpecker female

Female Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus, Apaj, Hungary, April 2015.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Black Woodpecker nesting cavity

Nesting cavity entrance of Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius, Hungary, April 2015. In Europe, only Black Woodpeckers make oval-shaped holes like this, in fact, the majority of the holes of this species are this shape. This one was 25m up in an old beech tree. It is fresh, new, as the wood around the rim is still clean and pale.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Tree stump shaved by White-backed Woodpecker

Tree stump worked on by White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos. March 21, Bukk Hills, Hungary (Gerard Gorman). In Europe only White-backed Woodpecker shaves timber in this way when looking for prey. Similar work is done by Black and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, but they tend to strip and peck panels or patches rather than totally shave whole stumps or snags from top to bottom and all around, and the beak marks they leave are more crude, not as fine. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Black Woodpecker work

Spring is one the way and the woodpeckers are drumming and calling and getting ready for the breeding season. Here is some fresh foraging work by Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius, Csepel, Budapest, Hungary, March.