Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
(Dendrocopos major)

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is a bird around about 24 centimeters long and it is a permanent resident of our garden. It has very strong bill, for drilling and drumming on trees, and long tongue for extracting food. Also, might be very interesting to know that it has a special membrane which closes protecting the eye from flying debris. And some special feathers are covering the nostrils, too.

During summer, this woodpecker is such an inconspicuous bird! Its best ally is the foliage, and the only way to be aware of Woody’s presence it is the drumming, those repeated blows of its bill upon a trunk. What’s very interesting for me, it’s that a few years ago I noticed a woodpecker drumming upon an iron pole, not a wood one. The sounds were amazing.

Unfortunately, only during winter I have more chances to get some decent photos of this woodpecker.

When was the last time you saw a woodpecker?


21 thoughts on “Great Spotted Woodpecker

  1. I see Downy Woodpeckers regularly (the last time was there days ago), but they are not as impressive as your woodpecker. Wonderful shot of a beautiful bird.

    1. I searched on Internet some information about Downy Woodpecker and it’s so small! And I also noticed it’s a bit B&W, only sometimes has a bit of red. But anyway, looks nice after all. 🙂

    1. I found on Wikipedia another interesting information about this eye cover : ” Woodpeckers tighten their nictitating membrane a millisecond prior to their beak impacting the trunk of a tree to prevent shaking-induced retinal injury”

    1. It’s not so easy to pick a photo after I see your and a few other photographers’ photos. It took me a long while to decide which photograph to post even if I have thousands of nice portraits of birds…

  2. Cornel, this is an AMAZING shot! How on earth did you get this? It is worthy of the very best wildlife photographers. I am also in awe of all the photos you have shown Colin recently.

    1. Well, I believe you remember my special weapons, I usually use many
      unconventional weapons. 🙂 😀
      In this case I used a ladder and a white bed sheet and I hand hold the camera. And waited, and waited a while until the bird came.

      When I compare my white bed sheet with professional hides…:(

      I realized I have to do my best using only what I have, and here you have some attempts. 🙂

      1. I looked at the pic, and thought “Surely Cornel can’t hide under a sheet while he is up a tree!” But I am proved wrong! 🙂 You deserve an award, truly you do. Talent will always show through, if you have the ideas and the determination!

  3. A fabulous shot of this beautiful woodpecker. We often see Downy Woodpeckers around here. They are cute little birds.

  4. What a beautiful bird! So large and majestic. I am used to small Downy Woodpeckers, too. It is interesting to see what the familiar birds are in Europe.
    And that is a very good shot, too. Great detail.

      1. It’s such a cute little bird, and relatively common over a wide area. It’s one of the smaller woodpeckers, and can live in suburban areas.

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