Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos Major

Great Spotted Woodpecker
(click to enlarge)
The Great Spotted Woodpecker is a pied woodpecker, with a large white shoulder patch and scarlet underneath the tail.

The head is black and white: black crown and nape, white forehead, cheeks, and throat. The back, wings and tail are black, except for the white shoulder patch. The underparts are whitish-buff with red
underneath the tail (vent). The sexes are similar except that the male has a red patch on the nape. The male Great Spotted Woodpecker is renown for drumming its bill on a branch. Their contact call is a loud "chick" sound.

The nest is a chamber in a tree which is chiselled out by both birds. Breeding starts mid to late April and consists of a single clutch of 3-8 eggs.

Woodpeckers probe tree trunks for insects and larvae, but also feed on nuts and berries (in the winter). Increasingly, Great Spotted Woodpeckers are feeding from peanut feeders in gardens.

Many thanks to British Garden Birds for the information on this page.