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Home > Bird Feeding Blog > Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Monday, 23rd October 2017

The Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is a medium-sized bird. It's one of two black and white woodpeckers that is resident in Britain. Learn more..
It's about the size of a blackbird with bold black and white plumage with a red patch on its lower belly. Males and young birds also have red markings on the neck or head. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is a small bird about the size of a sparrow and has fewer markings under the tail.
Great Spotted Woodpecker

The feathers on the Great Spotted Woodpecker are beautiful. They have an all-black pair of central tail feathers which are very thick. And as the pairs go outwards, increasing white tips with black marks are prevalent. The secondary feathers have larger spots of white. Under the tail covert is red making it look rather elegant and dashing. Some say, swashbuckling!

They have a very loud call which makes a "tchick" sound.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker iconically drums its bill on a branch. It perches on the trunk then works upwards and often from side to side. During the ascent, it taps the bark and peels off fragments. Whilst extracting food from crevices with the tip of its sticky tongue. It feeds on insects, especially ants, and the larvae of wood-boring beetles. Holes may be chiselled up to four inches deep.

See them all year round in parks and woodlands. Especially where there are mature, broad-leaved trees or mature conifers.

Peanut Feeders

During autumn and winter, they feed on a variety of fruit, seeds and nuts. But, they will feed from peanut feeders and bird tables in large gardens throughout the year. Your very first Great Spotted Woodpecker, though, is more likely to appear when it's colder. Look after them and they may stay around all year!

Our standard peanuts are high in energy and packed with oils and protein to keep the birds healthy. They're affordable, effective, nutritional, safe - that's our standard peanut in four words. Great Spotteds love 'em.

Woodpeckers also enjoy our Berry flavoured Suet Pellet extra pouches. These pellets have extra goodness in the shape of high-energy mixed berries. They're smaller than our original suet pellets. But they can still be fed from a standard tube-type seed feeder. What's the Extra? The addition of high-energy mixed berries. A great easy to feed treat, for Blackbirds, Tits, Finches, and Robins. These are perfect for year-round wild bird feeding.

If you would like to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker in your garden, there's no better way than to feed Haith's. Our seeds are super-clean, super-fresh and great quality. And that’s what's best for Britain's beautiful birds.

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