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All information gathered first-hand, since 1995


Woodpeckers are pretty easy to recognize, either by sound or while flying. The woodpecker flies in a distinctive undulating manner, dipping down and up as it goes. You can hear their staccato hammering clearly through the woods, and you'll probably hear them more than you see them. What they're doing is standing on the vertical side of a tree, supported by the tail, digging away through the bark to get to the insects beneath.

Black Woodpecker

Dryocopus martius   –   Pic Noir

This is the largest woodpecker in the Beyond region; it's about 50% larger than the Green Woodpecker and twice as big as any other. The male Black Woodpecker is all black with a red crown.

The females and the juveniles are more brown, and the female has the red patch on the nape of the neck rather than the top of her head.


46 cm

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos medius   –   Pic Epeiche


22 cm

Green Woodpecker

Picus viridis   –   Pic Vert

The green woodpecker has a yellowish-green back and wings, a yellow rump, red crowned head and pale grey breast and throat. The Moustachial stripe (on the cheeks below the eyes) can be either red or black. The tail feathers and wing edges are dark grey.


32 cm


Forests of broad leaved or mixed trees, parks, gardens or any well timbered area, including roadside woods and mountain larches (mélèzes).


The green woodpecker feeds on tree insects in true woodpecker fashion, but also likes anthills.


Most of Western Europe, including the northern Mediterranean.

Middle Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos medius   –   Pic Mar


22 cm