Sunday, 16 November 2008

Green Woodpecker

The very first time I went birding in the woods over Blackberry hill, I heard this sound:

I couldn’t see the bird, so I was hooked on. Every time I went there I would hear it and I would try in vain to discover the source. It took me a while before I finally discovered a Green Woodpecker flying and crying at the same time!

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The sound has often been called a laugh and everytime I heard it, I thought it was a mocking laugh aimed at me for not getting a picture of it! The laugh is also referred to as a Yaffle and the Bird is also called a Rainbird.

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The Green Woodpecker is not only Britain`s largest Woodpecker, but is can also claim to be one of its more colourful species.

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Both sexes are alike, except for the lower black streak below the lower beak, which has a crimson or red centre in the male. So the bird pictured in this post is obviously a female. The bird has been known to have  a fondness for ants.

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Source: British Garden Birds

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The most common habitats where this bird is found is in the open deciduous woodland, parks, orchards and farmland. It prefers old timbered parks, and  open country where there are ancient trees rather than dense woodlands.

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It captures insects from tree trunks or from the ground with a rapid flick of its tongue, which is sticky with gummy saliva.

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The Green woodpecker nests in holes in trees like other woodpeckers.

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The bird is currently on the amber status with regards to its conservation status.


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