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Great Spotted Woodpecker: Activities

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Quick facts

Common name: Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Scientific name: Dendrocopos major

Origin: Native

Length: 22–23cm

Wingspan: 34 -39cm

Weight:  85g

Colour:  Pied black and white plumage and a red patch on the lower belly. Males and young birds also have red markings on the neck or head.

Average lifespan: 5-10 years


  • What they eat: Insects, seeds and nuts.

  • One of only three species of woodpecker in the UK, they are about the size of a  blackbird with striking black-and-white colouring. It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches. Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring 'drumming' display.

  • They can be seen in woodlands, especially with mature broad-leaved trees, although mature conifers will support them. They can also be found in parks and large gardens and will come to peanut feeders and bird tables.

  • Common in England and Wales.

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