Större-hackspettSJw.jpgPhoto: Svante Joelsson.Grafiskt element

Great Woodpecker

Dendrocopos major

The great woodpecker is Sweden’s and the Royal National City Park’s commonest woodpecker. It is very numerous and appears in the park all year round. One reason for its success is that, unlike some of its relatives, it is not so dependent on large areas of dead wood. It supplements its deadwood-insect diet with fledglings. The great woodpecker is usually noticed in the spring by the far-reaching short drum roll which can be heard all over the park during March–April. When it calls to attract or alarm it utters a short ‘kick’ which is repeated at different tempos depending on its mood. When working at extracting tree insects it sounds like a Morse code message. It is often to be seen moving between forest copses in a typical curved flight path. Like its near relative, the lesser woodpecker, it is coloured black-white-red, with slight variation between the sexes. The male can be distinguished from the female by its red neck spot.



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