Great Spotted Woodpecker

      Dendrocopos major

      Information

      The Great Spotted Woodpecker already draws attention to its presence on warm days in February by short and powerful drumming. To prevent concussions when drumming, the brain has a shock absorbing mechanism. Our most common and most widely distributed woodpecker has modest habitat requirements and also breeds in parks. It shows a remarkable specialisation by extracting seeds from cones which it wedges in tree crevices, “anvils”, and obtaining tree sap by drilling holes in trees.

      Voice

      Status (in CH)
      common breeding resident
      Annual cycle
      The bar on the top line indicates during which seasons the species can be observed regularly in Switzerland. There can be great seasonal fluctuations of numbers. The middle bar indicates the typical migration seasons of a species. The bottom bar indicates the period during which the species normally breeds. As a rule it spans the period from egg-laying to fledging of the young.
      Annual cycle
      Annual cycle

      Facts

      Population size in Switzerland (Pairs)
      70'000 - 90'000 (2013-2016)
      Migration behaviour
      predominantly resident
      Diurnal/nocturnal migrant
      Diurnal migrant
      Length (cm)
      22-23
      wing span (cm)
      34-39
      Weight (g)
      70-90
      Nest site
      cavities in trees
      Food
      insects, seeds
      Group
      Wrynecks, Woodpeckers and allies
      Habitat
      forest, settlements
      Distribution
      Distribution
      Distribution