Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Green Woodpecker Information & Facts
The whole of Europe, except northern Scandinavia, Ireland, Scotland and Iceland, is home to the green woodpecker.
Length: 32 cm. The female lacks the crimson patch below the eye.
Voice: During the courtship period a very loud ringing ‘laugh’, the female’s note is shorter and does not have the same ring.
Size of Egg: 28.0—33.9 X 20.3—24.0 mm.
Green Woodpecker Habitat
Green Woodpecker is a resident species, but in winter is also a transient migrant. It frequents light deciduous woods, field groves as well as parks, large gardens, orchards and overgrown graveyards. During the courting period in spring the male and female pursue each other in the air or round the trunk of a tree, uttering loud cries.
At the end of April the pair of birds drill a hole in the trunk of a deciduous tree, usually where the wood is soft or has rotted, each taking turns at the task. The pear-shaped cavity, about 50 centimetres deep, is completed in about two weeks.
In addition to the nesting cavity, the woodpecker also drills another which serves as sleeping quarters, and both are often used for several years in succession. Sometimes the green woodpecker will nest in a hole in a wall, especially in city parks.
The female lays 5 to 7 eggs, which she and the male take turns incubating for 15 to 17 days. The young are born naked and blind and the parents feed them mostly on ants and their pupae.
The diet consists also of the larvae of beetles which the green woodpecker finds when ‘boring’ holes in anthills on the ground. In winter the green woodpecker often drills deep tunnels in the ground to reach hibernating ants in their anthills. Sometimes it will visit beehives, breaking the wooden parts in its effort to get at the bees. In winter the woodpecker will often feed from a garden tray.