Drumming and behaviour
Today I heard the beautiful drumming of a Great Spotted Woodpecker in Horsenden Woods.
What I didn't say in the video was:
They don't have a song to advertise ownership of their chosen patch of woodland so drumming is their way of making their presence known
Drumming is done by both sexes heard in early January continuing until June
A solo male can drum more than 600 times a day versus a paired male who drums just 200 times
- Similar size to blackbird - White plumage and a red patch on the lower belly
- Male has red feathers on back of head
- Has a distinctive spring 'drumming' display
- Drumming is a form of communication used to mark territories and to display
- They nests in holes in trees that they excavate in broadleaved woodlands
Photos taken earlier this year showing holes made by Great Spotted Woodpecker
- They have a round head, long tongue, stiff tail and two toes facing forwards and two back to give a better grip on rounded branches.
- The nest hole is excavated by both sexes, and may be used in subsequent seasons
- Individual parents look after their brood once they have left the nest, feeding chicks for the first 10 days
- Insects are the staple diet, but tree seeds are also eaten in the winter as well as bird eggs and fledglings in the spring
They are one of 3 woodpecker found in the UK which. The other 2 are the lesser spotted and green woodpecker.
Great Spotted Woodpecker - photo credit, unsplash.com