Three-toed Woodpecker/Picoides tridactylus - Male

Three-toed Woodpecker/Picoides tridactylus - Photographer: Георги Герджиков
Three-toed Woodpecker/Picoides tridactylus - Photographer: Pavel Simeonov
Three-toed Woodpecker/Picoides tridactylus - Photographer: Симеон Гигов

L 21½-24 cm. Breeds in coniferous and mixed forest with some older spruce stands and (often dying) deciduous trees. Food mostly insects; specializes on larvae of spruce bark-beetle, often strips dead spruces; also drills rings of holes in spruces to get at the sap. Usually shy. Nest entrance 4½ 2 5 cm.
IDENTIFICATION: Almost as big as Great Spotted Woodpecker. Rather dark-looking because wings are very dark and flanks are diffusely vermiculated grey. Head-side, too, looks dark with its broad black bands. Note white panel from nape and right down entire back. male has pale lemonyellow crown, crown of female is black-streaked. - Variation: In C Europe (ssp. alpinus) white back-panel is vermiculated.
VOICE: Kick-call softer than Great Spotted’s, ‘bick’. Drumming powerful, well articulated, of medium length (often 1.1-1.4 sec.), often with hint of rise in volume at start (and faint acceleration towards end), most like half a Black Woodpecker roll (and can be confused with that!). Begging-call of young sounds like an insect or distant engine.

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