Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Distribution much as Greater Spotted. This is a small woodpecker (like many of the North American species) barely bigger than a House Sparrow. It is much overlooked as it often lives in the tops of forest trees and does not come down to ground level. It even drinks and bathes in water collected in holes in the trees.
If you can see red on the crown it is a male. Otherwise the plumage has rather more white on it than the other (bigger) spotted woodpeckers. This is a very sedentary bird although Northern populations are nomadic and some may even migrate. Softer and quicker drummer than the Great and calls distinctive - provided there are no Wrynecks about - 'pew, pew, pew ...' going on up to 15 or 20 times. Population in Britain declining and birds restricted to England and Wales - about 5,000 pairs at the very most.
A small black and white woodpecker found over most of temperate Eurasia.
The following Bird On! picture is available:
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Watercolour by Robert Gillmor)
Length 145 mm Closed wing 90 mm Weight 20 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead