The Great Spotted Woodpecker - Wanted poster


Surname: Great spotted woodpecker
Latin name: Dendrocopos major
class: Birds
size: 20 - 25cm
mass: up to 100g
Older: 5 - 10 years
Appearance: white-black feather dress
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: mainly insectivores (insektivor)
food: Insects, invertebrates, seeds
distribution: Central Europe, Eurasia and North Africa
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Forests
natural enemies: Birds of prey, marten, fox
sexual maturity: about 12 - 18 months
mating season: April June
breeding season: 11 - 13 days
clutch size: 4 - 7 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting about the great spotted woodpecker

  • The Great Spotted Woodpecker is found in Central Europe, Eurasia and North Africa in almost all forests and parks that have a high level of deadwood.
  • It feeds mainly on insects, spiders, invertebrates and small bird eggs. In winter, he also likes to feed houses, where he literally minced dumplings and peanuts and plays a dominant role over other garden birds. Its wide range of foods also includes berries, fruits and seeds in the cold season.
  • In the spring, the spotted woodpecker uses the ascending bleeding sap of trees as a preferred food source. In order to reach this, he hits with the tip of his strong Meißenschnabels tiny, closely spaced holes in a horizontal line in the tree bark.
  • In addition to these holes, he also designed so-called woodpecker forging, small notches in the tree bark, to seize prey such as hard-shell insects and seeds and then open it better with his beak.
  • The great spotted woodpecker breeds once a year between April and June. A clutch usually contains between three and seven eggs, which are incubated in a cave in rotten trees. After the boys have fledged, the parents leave the cave, to hit a new hotbed in another tree next year. Abandoned breeding caves serve as a shelter and habitat for many other animals such as great tits, squirrels or wild bees.
  • Many great spotted woodpeckers also try to beat brood caves in house facades and can thereby cause great damage. In such cases, homeowners have no alternative but to drive the birds away with strips of aluminum, plastic or the like fluttering in the wind.
  • The rapid tapping does not necessarily indicate that the great spotted woodpecker is creating a nest or looking for food. Buntspechte drummeln on wood and many other materials that represent a suitable resonant body to communicate with each other and to defend their territory against opponents.
  • Worldwide, the stock of spotted woodpeckers is steadily increasing, in Germany alone it is estimated at about 600 000 to 800 000 breeding pairs. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is one of the most endangered species of birds.