Here is a fine example of the foraging work of a Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius. An impressively large hole has been opened up on this trunk, big enough for a man's hand to easily fit inside. Looking at this, it might be thought that the woodpecker has killed the tree.. but has it really? The tree here is also adorned with fungi and the woodpecker workings are fairly fresh, newer than the fungi. It is clear that the tree was already doomed before the woodpecker opened it up in search of the invertebrates that live inside the rotten timber. And that is the key point, that woodpeckers that hack into timber are looking for prey and most prey lives inside trees that are already dying or dead.
Across Europe (and indeed the world) there are woodpeckers which have adapted to live in urban environments. Here is an example, Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus, which is rarely found in forests proper, rather inhabiting open woodlands, orchards, parks, gardens etc, in rural villages, towns and in major cities. In this photo a bird clings to a wooden utility pole along a village street. (Gerard Gorman, Hungary, October 2014).
An adult female Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus feeding a nestling. At this age, both chicks can show some yellow on the forecrown. Image taken in Lower Austria in spring 2014 by Thomas Hochebner.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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)