Middle Spotted Woodpecker/Dendrocopos medius - Adult

Middle Spotted Woodpecker/Dendrocopos medius - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov
Middle Spotted Woodpecker/Dendrocopos medius - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov
Middle Spotted Woodpecker/Dendrocopos medius - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov
Middle Spotted Woodpecker/Dendrocopos medius - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov

L 19½-22 cm. Breeds in lofty deciduous woods with some old oak, hornbeam and elm and mixture of clearings, pasture and denser parts. Warmth-loving. Food insects and sap. Spends much time high up in tree crowns, and often hops along horizontal, thick branches in search of insects. Nest often excavated in decayed, rotten trunk or thick branch, sometimes strongly sloping or almost horizontal; entrance-hole diameter c. 4 cm.
IDENTIFICATION: Only negligibly smaller than Great Spotted Woodpecker, but still looks clearly smaller owing to the short, slender bill and the rounded, pale head. Sexes similar, with: red crown (reaches further back on male, and colour is brighter red); lack of black moustachial stripe; white forehead and head-side, on which eye stands out as a dark spot; white oval shoulder patches (cf. White-backed Woodpecker); pinkish vent which fades into yellowish-brown belly; and fine dark streaks on flanks. Often perches across branches in slightly hunched posture and with drooped tail.
VOICE: Kick-call rather weak; little used; very like Lesser Spotted Woodpecker’s. More often gives a series of such calls at fast trotting pace with slightly different first syllable higher-pitched, ‘kick kück-kück-kückkück- kück-’. Territorial assertion by song, 4-8 (or more) whining, nasal notes at slow pace (c 2 per sec.), ‘gvayk gvayk gvayk gvayk gvayk’. Does not drum for territorial purposes (only very rarely as auxiliary action).

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