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Living with Birds 21 Facts on Green Woodpecker Tweetapedia

21 Facts

Green Woodpecker

  1. The green woodpecker is the largest of the three species of woodpeckers that occur in the British Isles.
  2. Though widespread throughout much of lowland England, it is scarce in West Wales and absent from much of Scotland, where it only bred for the first time in 1951.
  3. It doesn’t occur in Ireland, though three individuals were reputedly shot there in the 19th century.
  4. The range of this species extends north into Scandinavia and as far west as Turkey and Northern Iran.
  5. A very similar woodpecker is found in Spain and Portugal. This is now regarded as a separate species, Sharpe’s woodpecker.
  6. In the last 30 years this essentially parkland bird has been seen increasingly in gardens.
  7. Green woodpeckers are often found in pairs or family groups.
  8. They communicate with each other by calling frequently. The best-known call is the is the far-carrying, descending territorial song which gives the old name of yaffle.
  9. Rain bird is another name, as the birds are reputed to call more when rain is imminent.
  10. Unlike the great spotted woodpecker, the green rarely drums.
  11. Of our three woodpeckers, the green spends the least amount of time in trees, and can often be seen feeding on the ground.
  12. Here it is likely to be digging for ants, its favourite food. It eats both the adults and their eggs, catching them with its exceptionally long and sticky tongue.
  13. Other food taken includes a variety of insects, and on rare occasions, reptiles such as small lizards.
  14. It’s rare for a green woodpecker to visit a feeder or bird table, but a mown lawn will attract them.
  15. Green woodpeckers like to excavate their own nest holes, a process that takes them from two to four weeks.
  16. The usual clutch size is between five and eight unmarked white eggs.
  17. The pair takes it in turn to incubate the eggs, with the male sitting at night.
  18. The young hatch after 14 to 17 days, but stay with their parents for some weeks after fledging.
  19. The nestlings are vulnerable to predators such as stoats, which may be attracted by the young birds calling for food.
  20. Because they spend so much time feeding on the ground, prolonged spells of snow cover can be fatal.
  21. These woodpeckers are highly sedentary, seldom moving far from where they were hatched.
21 Facts On Green Woodpecker I1
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