Home > Guide > Garden Bird Feeding Guide > Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

The great spotted has become the most familiar woodpecker due to regularly visiting bird-tables in observers' gardens.

When searching for food a Great Spotted Woodpecker usually perches on the trunk then works upwards and often from side to side. During the ascent it smartly taps the bark, prising off fragments and frequently extracting food from crevices with the tip of its sticky tongue.

During spring and summer it feeds largely on insects, especially ants and the larvae of wood-boring beetles. Holes may be chiselled up to four inches deep. But in autumn and winter they like to feed on a variety of fruit, seeds and nuts.

Both sexes drum on trees, starting in January and continuing until late June. Usually a new nest is bored each spring rarely less than 10 to 12ft from the ground and often considerably higher. Both parent woodpeckers excavate and this task occupies between two and three weeks. The creamy white eggs, five to seven in number, are laid during the second half of May.

If you want a Great Spotted Woodpecker in your garden there's no better food than Peanuts and suet to put out.

Consider These Bird Foods

Sunflower Hearts - European GrownFinest Premium Quality
Sunflower Hearts - European Grown
(27)
Peanuts: Premium Quality
from £5.20
(14)
Peanuts: Premium Quality
(14)
Standard Peanuts
from £14.40
(1)
Standard Peanuts
(1)
Insect Suet PelletsBest Seller
from £4.95
(10)
Insect Suet Pellets
(10)
Mealworm Suet PelletsHigh in Cal and Oil
from £5.49
(5)
Mealworm Suet Pellets
(5)
Haith's Suet Puds (no nets)
from £3.25
(1)
Haith's Suet Puds (no nets)
(1)
Fat Balls: Small (Original)Newly Improved
from £0.40
(16)
Fat Balls: Small (Original)
(16)
Coco Fat FeederHelp to Fly
from £2.30
(6)
Coco Fat Feeder
(6)
Berry Suet Pellet Extra!Help to Fly
from £2.99
(4)
Berry Suet Pellet Extra!
(4)
Mealworm Bird CakeHelp to Fly
from £3.25
(6)
Mealworm Bird Cake
(6)
Original High-Energy Suet Pellets ExtraHelp to Fly
Original High-Energy Suet Pellets Extra
(1)
Original Wild Bird Suet FeastsSave £8.81
Original Wild Bird Suet Feasts
(1)
Seed & Insect Suet Feasts
Seed & Insect Suet Feasts
Suet Log Refill PackBritish Suet
from £3.25
(4)
Suet Log Refill Pack
(4)

The great spotted has become the most familiar woodpecker due to regularly visiting bird-tables in observers' gardens.

When searching for food a Great Spotted Woodpecker usually perches on the trunk then works upwards and often from side to side. During the ascent it smartly taps the bark, prising off fragments and frequently extracting food from crevices with the tip of its sticky tongue.

During spring and summer it feeds largely on insects, especially ants and the larvae of wood-boring beetles. Holes may be chiselled up to four inches deep. But in autumn and winter they like to feed on a variety of fruit, seeds and nuts.

Both sexes drum on trees, starting in January and continuing until late June. Usually a new nest is bored each spring rarely less than 10 to 12ft from the ground and often considerably higher. Both parent woodpeckers excavate and this task occupies between two and three weeks. The creamy white eggs, five to seven in number, are laid during the second half of May.

If you want a Great Spotted Woodpecker in your garden there's no better food than Peanuts and suet to put out.