David Element

 

Wildlife Photography and Digital Video Images

 

________________________________________________________________________________ Birds – 146 – European Green Woodpeckers

 

 

 

 

                                                                                        EUROPEAN GREEN WOODPECKER Picus viridis (juvenile)

 

·         European Green Woodpeckers Picus viridis are more likely to be heard than seen as their unmistakable ‘yaffle’ call is very loud and distinctive and it superficially resembles a human laugh. These large woodpeckers predominantly feed on ants and they may therefore be encountered at ground level much more frequently than Great Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopus major (illustrated elsewhere on this web site). Yellow Meadow Ant Lasius flavus mounds are probably favoured but it is doubtful that they would be selective for reasons other than easy availability. Green Woodpeckers occasionally ‘drum’ softly but if a persistent loud drumming is heard then the likely culprit will be a Great Spotted Woodpecker – both of these birds are common and widespread. The bird illustrated above is a juvenile - adopting a typical pose with opposing claws gripping the tree-bark and the stiff tail feathers acting as a wedge.

 

 

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