Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus major)

OTHER NAMES: Pied Woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Latin Etymology: Dendrocopus ("tree striking") major ("greater")
Left: Adult female Great Spotted Woodpecker (subspecies D. m. pinetorum) at Warnham, Sussex - March 2015
Right: Adult male Great Spotted Woodpecker (subspecies D. m. japonicus) at Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan - December 2014

Featured Subspecies: Dendrocopus major pinetorum AND Dencrocopus major japonicus
Weight: 70-90g  /  Length: 22-23cm  /  Wingspan: 34-39cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is a relatively common bird which will sometimes come into gardens. It has distinctive colouration making it easy to spot (compare against the much more difficult to see Lesser Spotted Woodpecker) and hearing a loud tapping call in woodland will very often mean that either this species or the Green Woodpecker will be near. Most easy to photograph at bird tables, or failing that, in Winter when there are no leaves on the trees to block views.  They are found right across Eurasia and I also encountered this species in the centre of the town of Kushiro in Hokkaido.

Related Species:
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Dendrocopus
Subspecies: D. m. major, D. m. pinetorum, D. m. harterti, D. m. hispanus, D. m. canariensis, D. m. D. m thanneri, D. m. maurittanus, D. m. numidus, D. m. poelzami, D. m. brevirostris, D. m. kamtschaticus, D. m japonicus, D. m. cabansi

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Common breeding resident (140,000 pairs)
 - Birds seen at a large number of sites often at feeders, including but not limited to Rutland WaterRegent's Park and Geddington.
JAPAN - Japaneseアカゲラ  /  Aka-gera ("Red Woodpecker")
A fairly widespread resident.
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: A single bird seen in Kushiro.

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red , RSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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