Great Spotted Woodpecker – Dendrocopos Major

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is the most common and widespread of the three British woodpeckers. The size of a Blackbird, this distinctive black and white bird is most often seen in England and Wales and is not found in Ireland or far northern/southern areas of Scotland.


Male: Upperparts of black, broken by white cheeks, a white neck patch and two bold, white ovals on its back. Underparts are buff-white with a red undertail. The male also has a red patch on its hind crown.
Female: Same colouring as the male, but without the red patch on the hind crown.
Juvenile: A red top crown distinguishes the juvenile from the adult birds.
Size: 22—24cm.
Bill: Grey, long and thin.
Legs: Grey and short.
Habitat: Woodland, gardens and hedges. Proficient at feeding from garden bird feeders and tables.
Behaviour: Climbs, hangs, takes off/lands from vegetation.
Flight: Distinctive, undulating, bouncing flight.
Voice: A loud tchack sound which carries a long way. Drumming sound during their springtime display.


Nest: Tree hollows.
Eggs: 4—7. White.
Incubation period: 16 days.
Fledgeling: 18—21 days.
Broods: 1. May–June.
Food: Insects and nuts.
UK breeding pairs: 25,000—30,000.

Suggested feed

Countrywide Peanuts, Countrywide Granulated Peanuts.

Back to top