17 October, 2012

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Dendrocopos Major

Population Estimate: 73.5 - 216B

Range / Habitat: Resident in temperate forest throughout Europe and northern Asia.

Field Notes: Medium-sized black and white woodpecker with a black line which zigzags from the shoulder halfway across the breast, then back to the nape; a black stripe, extending from the bill, runs below the eye to meet this latter part of the zigzag line. Large white shoulder patch, barred flight feathers. Undertail coverts red. Males have a crimson spot on the nape, which is absent in females and juvenile birds. Syrian Woodpecker similar but less well-developed zigzag stripe on the neck. White-winged Woodpecker also similar but with far more extensive white wing patch.

Personal Notes: A welcome sound and sight after nearly a year in New Zealand without woodpeckers.

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