Great spotted woodpeckers are smaller than you'd expect. They're about the size of a starling. 

Adult males, as well as juveniles, have a red patch on the back of their necks which fades in female adulthood. 

Woodpeckers drill into solid trees with their beaks to search for food. They're able to do this as they have shock absorbers inside their heads to prevent concussion and headaches! They also have a long tongue that can protrude up to 4cm from their beaks, which they can use to harpoon insects in the holes they've bored. 

Both sexes drum to find a mate, but only males drum to pronounce ownership of their territory. The woodpecker is actually a bit of a thug and won't hesitate at taking over the territory of other birds and eating their eggs and chicks. 


Did you know?

  • Juveniles have a red patch on the back of their heads, which fades in female adulthood
  • Their tongue can protrude up to 4 cm from their beaks
  • They're the same size as a starling