Black Woodpecker/Dryocopus martius - Male

Black Woodpecker/Dryocopus martius - Photographer: Катерина Кавалджиева
Black Woodpecker/Dryocopus martius - Photographer: Весела Банова
Black Woodpecker/Dryocopus martius - Photographer: Весела Банова
Black Woodpecker/Dryocopus martius - Photographer: Весела Банова

L 40-46 cm, WS 67-73 cm. Nests in mature forest, often pine and mixed forest, but also beech. Expanding in NW Europe. Wary but also inquisitive, can be called up by imitating its voice. Nest entrance oval, c. 9 2 12 cm.
IDENTIFICATION: Crow-sized and entirely black with whitish eye and all-red crown (male) or just a red patch on hindcrown (female). Compared with e.g. Green Woodpecker, narrower neck and longer head with angular nape. Flight flappy and rather clumsy with head held up, with mostly downward jerks of broad, rounded wings, on straight course (not dipping as other woodpeckers), recalling Nutcracker if anything.
VOICE: Rich repertoire of loud calls. Often heard year round is the flight- /alarm-call, ‘krrück krrück krrück ...’. On landing it may utter a shrill ‘kliiieh’. Song a shrill whistled series, quite distinct from Green Woodpecker’s laugh in its more tentative intro, even pitch throughout and ‘wilder’ voice, ‘kuih kvi kvi-kvi-kvi-kvi-kvi-kvi-kvi’. In spring drums very loudly in open bursts (like machine-gun salvos; audible at 2-4 km), 1.75-3 sec. long (male longer than female).

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