A moderately large woodpecker common over much of Europe except the far North (and the deprived island of Ireland that does not have any woodpeckers). It is green with very bright yellow rump and complicated head pattern including red. The malar stripe has red if its a male - all black if female.
These birds have an amazing laughing call and are known in parts of Britain as the 'yaffle' after this call. It drums but not as often as some woodpeckers and is particularly associated with feeding at ant's nests. It has the usual tongue extending capabilities of a woodpecker and gets the ants from the nest by exploring the corridors and chambers with its tongue. British population - about 15,000 breeding pairs.
A green woodpecker found in Europe.
The following Bird On! pictures are available:
Green Woodpecker (Watercolour by Robert Gillmor) Green Woodpecker (35mm Colour Slide by Roger Tidman)
Length 320 mm Closed wing 160 mm Weight 190 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead