Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Woodpecker Year - 2015

It has been a great year for me in my quest to observe, hear, photograph, sound record, and generally learn more about woodpeckers. And many thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog (Gerard Gorman). To end the year, here is a Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius from the woods in the Buda Hills, just 10 minutes from where I am writing this.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Black Woodpecker

Adult female Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius. Photo taken in Austria, by Thomas Hochebner.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

White-backed Woodpecker - nominate race

Following on from the last post, of a lilfordi race White-backed Woodpecker, here is the nominate Dendrocopos leucotos leucotos. An adult male, Bükk Hills, Hungary (Gerard Gorman).

Friday, 18 September 2015

White-backed (Lilford's) Woodpecker

Adult male White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos, race lilfordi (sometimes called Lilford's Woodpecker). Irati Forest, Navarra, Spain, September 2015 (Gerard Gorman).

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Gallery: Eurasian Wryneck

Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla. Paklenica, Croatia, June 2015 (Gerard Gorman).

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.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Great Spotted Woodpecker eating peanuts

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. Budapest, Hungary, February 2014 (Gerard Gorman). In many parts of its vast range, from the British Isles eastwards through continental Europe and into Asia, this common species is often found in urban habitats, readily visiting garden feeders.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Answer to last woodpecker quiz

The last quiz bird was, of course, not difficult... Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major.
Taken in a garden in Buda, Budapest, Hungary, February 2014 (Gerard Gorman). Here is another shot of the same bird. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Gallery: Europe's smallest woodpecker

Another shot of the adult male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor in the post below. At around 14-16 cm in length this is Europe's smallest woodpecker. Budapest, Hungary by Gerard Gorman.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Gallery: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Adult male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor. Photo taken recently in Budapest, Hungary by Gerard Gorman.