Backyard Birds

White-backed Woodpeckers

The White-backed Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos leucotos) is a Eurasian woodpecker belonging to the genus Dendrocopos.

Description:

White-backed Woodpeckers is the largest of the spotted woodpeckers at 24-26 cm long and has plumage similar to the Great Spotted Woodpecker, but with white bars across the wings rather than spots, and a white lower back. The male has a red crown, the female a black one.

Distribution / Habitat:

The nominate race D. l. leucotos occurs in central and northern Europe, with the race D. l. lilfordii found in the Balkans and Turkey. It is a scarce bird, requiring large, mature woods with plenty of dead wood. Numbers have decreased in Nordic countries. Ten further races occur in the region eastwards as far as Korea and Japan.

Breeding / Nesting:

In the breeding season it excavates a nest hole about 7 cm wide and 30 cm deep in a decaying tree trunk. It lays three to five white eggs and incubates for 10-11 days.

Diet:

It lives predominantly on wood-boring beetles as well as their larvae, as well as other insects, nuts, seeds and berries.

Call / Song:

Drumming by males is very loud, calls include a soft kiuk and a longer kweek.

Member of the Picidae Family: WoodpeckersSapsuckersFlickers

 
 
 

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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