top of page


Dendrocopos major
Conservation Status (GREEN)

The 'drumming' of a great spotted woodpecker is a familiar sound of our woodlands, parks and gardens. It is a form of communication and is mostly used to mark territories and to display in spring.

The great spotted woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker. It nests in holes that it excavates in trees in broadleaved woodlands, large parks and gardens. It has a distinctive, bouncing flight, but is mostly likely to be heard, rather than seen, as it 'drums' away at a tree trunk during its breeding displays. Great spotted woodpeckers eat insects and larvae, probing tree trunks with their extremely sticky tongues to extract them from their nests. In autumn and winter, they will switch to eating berries and nuts, and will visit peanut feeders in gardens.

Find out more about the Great Spotted Woodpeckers and other birds and wildlife in North Devon in my Bird Photography Blog

bottom of page