Juvenile male Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius. Even at this age the sexes differ in plumage: females have red only on the hind-crown, males have an all-red crown. Photo taken in Dordogne, France by Yann Cambon.
In Europe old growth mixed deciduous-conifer forest is scarce. The best remnants remain in uplands and in the east of the continent. Such forests, with lots of dead and rotting timber and hence high numbers of bark and wood-boring beetles, are the home of White-backed and Eurasian Three-toed Woodpeckers. Photo: Urwald Lahnsattel Forest, Lower Austria, taken by Gerard Gorman in May 2013.
Woodpeckers make no attempt to conceal the locations of their nesting holes by removing or hiding the debris that results from excavation. Wood-chips, like these below a Great Spotted Woodpecker cavity in the Buda Hills, Hungary, are simply tossed out from the hole and lie below the nesting tree.
Not all woodpeckers fly in an undulating, bounding manner, as is often stated. Around the world there are many that fly with flapping, crow-like wingbeat actions. In Europe, the Black Woodpecker is an example - its flight style often recalls a Jay or Nutcracker. Photo of this Black Woodpecker taken by the River Tisza in NE Hungary by Gerard Gorman.
Woodpecker bills are impressive. They have evolved to be a multi-purpose tool... a hammer, a gouge, a chisel, a dagger. The bill is so important, it develops rapidly, being large and robust on nestlings even before they have grown feathers.
is dedicated to the 10 species of woodpecker (Picidae) that breed in Europe: 9 resident species and the migratory Wryneck. 8 of these 10 also occur outside Europe, with the distribution of Eurasian Three-toed, White-backed, Lesser Spotted, Great Spotted, Black & Grey-headed Woodpeckers stretching eastwards from the Western Palearctic into Asia, whilst Syrian is found in the Middle East & Asia Minor & Wryneck winters in Africa. The global ranges of Green & Middle Spotted Woodpeckers are confined to the Western Palearctic.
I welcome comments, suggestions, photographs, video clips and will credit items used. My aim is to create a non-commercial source for all lovers of the European Picidae. Sincere thanks are due to ALL who have contributed their photos and clips to this blog.
PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE & REFERENCE INFORMATION TAKEN FROM THIS SITE !
Gerard Gorman: email@example.com
The Black Woodpecker - a monograph on Dryocopus martius
Gerard Gorman is author of this book, published in 2011 by Lynx Edicions
Woodpeckers of Europe - A Study of the European Picidae
Gerard Gorman is author of this handbook, published in 2004 by Bruce Coleman, UK (ISBN 1 872842 05 4)