Eurasian Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
Male Green Woodpecker, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, England, July 2007 - click for larger image

The Eurasian Green Woodpecker is a relatively rare bird in Scotland where photo 2 was taken and indeed, it was only reported as breeding in Scotland as recently as 1951. It is much more common in England where its favoured habitat of broad-leaved woodland with grassy clearings occurs more frequently.

Green Woodpecker, Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland, January 2003 - click for larger image It is essentially a European species but also breeds as far east as Iran and Turkmenistan.

Note the red on the crown and the black round the eye. In photo 1 the red malar stripe indicates it is a male while photos 3 and 4, with the black malar stripe indicates a female.

Female Green Woodpecker, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, England, December 2010 - click for larger image Its distribution is largely determined by its main food which are ants. It tends to feed on the ground (photo 4) and, as a consequence, has a relatively weak bill compared to other woodpeckers. Hence drumming is rare and its advertising call is distinctive and called "yaffling".

Female Green Woodpecker, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, England, December 2010 - click for larger image

See a video of a female feeding on ants in my back garden here.

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