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Greater spotted woodpecker

(Dendrocopos major)

Greater spotted woodpeckers give us one of the loudest and most recognisable sounds of spring. This iconic bird can commonly be found on the side of a tree drumming the bark with their powerful beak. Their distinctive drumming sound tells us when the male is ready to attract a mate – single males can drum up to 600 times a day. 

The greater spotted woodpecker has a creamy-white chest with black-barred wings and a red rump, with males owning a red spot at the back of their neck which tells them apart easily from females. Juveniles have a bright red cap which fades after their first moult. 

There are three native species of woodpecker in Britain: the greater spotted, the lesser spotted and the green woodpecker. The greater and lesser spotted are similar in colouring, however, the greater spotted is close in size to a blackbird, while the lesser spotted is close to that of a robin and is much rarer. 


Grubs, insects, seeds and nuts.


Peanuts are a powerhouse of energy for woodpeckers and, at Henry Bell, we take care that our peanuts are of the highest quality. A traditional bird food, peanuts are very nutrient rich and loved by a wide variety of birds. We recommend using our Henry Bell Peanut feeder.

FOOD THAT ATTRACTS Greater spotted woodpecker