European green woodpecker

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European green woodpecker
European green woodpecker (male)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Picus
P. viridis
Binomial name
Picus viridis

Gecinus viridis[2]

The European green woodpecker (Picus viridis), or European green woodpecker, is a member of the woodpecker family Picidae. It occurs in most of Europe and in western Asia. There are four subspecies. All have green upperparts, paler yellowish underparts, and a red crown.

The woodpecker spends much of its time feeding on ants on the ground and does not often 'drum' on trees like other woodpecker species. It is a shy bird but usually draws attention with its loud calls. A nest hole is excavated in a tree; four to six eggs are laid which hatch after 19–20 days.

It gives a loud call known as yaffling.

Old deciduous trees for nesting, and nearby feeding grounds with plenty of ants, is essential. This is usually found in semi-open landscapes with small woodlands, hedges, scattered old trees, edges of forests and floodplain forests. Suitable habitats for foraging include grassland, heaths, plantations, orchards and lawns.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. BirdLife International (2013). "Picus viridis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. John Gould describes the green woodpecker, Gecinus viridis in The Birds of Great Britain (vol. 3, 1873, plate 74).
  3. Alder D. & Marsden S. 2010. Characteristics of feeding‐site selection by breeding green woodpeckers Picus viridis in a UK agricultural landscape. Bird study, 57(1), 100-107.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Weasel on flying woodpecker. BBC News Science & Environment. [1]
A juvenile male eats ants with the help of his tongue.