Green Woodpeckers- I have been lucky, while down in Sussex, to watch our largest woodpecker, the Green Woodpecker, feeding in the neighbouring field. They eat about 2,000 ants a day throughout summer, diversifying to other insects and seeds during winter. They dig into anthills with their powerful bills and capture the ants with their long, sticky tongues. Males are distinguishable from females by having a red centre to their black ‘moustaches’. Nesting in holes in trees, they use their wonderful ‘yaffle’, laughing call to delineate their territory. Conditions: Cloud with some sun. Temperature: Max 20- Min 13 C.
Juvenile Green Woodpeckers: shy birds, hence the rather blurred photo’s. Green Woodpeckers, our largest Woodpecker, nest in the same tree year after year, and have one brood of 4-7 young annually. Both adults feed the young in the nest- a study estimates that an
astounding 1,500,000 ants and pupae are fed to a brood of 7 Green Woodpeckers in the nest! Young have much streakier plumage than adults and when they fledge one adult usually takes half the brood each to show them where and how to forage. Conditions: Cloud and sun. Temperature: Max 19- Min 13C.