Birdorable Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Today an Old World woodpecker joins Birdorable! We welcome the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker to our flock.

Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers have a large range in temperate and boreal forests across much of Europe and Asia. At least 10 subspecies are recognized, with a variety of plumage and size differences across the range. All birds have a recognizable black and white pattern with males showing a bright red cap. Some birds, like our Birdorable version, have a buff wash over the white underparts and various levels of buff coloration around the face.

This species is the smallest woodpecker in all of Europe. They nest in tree cavities and lay five to 8 eggs per brood. Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers that survive through fledging are thought to have an average lifespan of about 7 years.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker by hedera.baltica (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tomorrow we’ll add a New World wader with a newish name. Prior to the 1980s the species was named after a state in the southeast of the U.S. Do you know this bird?

Cute Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Gifts

Birdorable Acorn Woodpecker

Thanks for tuning in to our 2018 Birdorable Bonanza. We're kicking off this burst of new Birdorable birds with a species of New World woodpecker: the Acorn Woodpecker.

Acorn Woodpeckers have an unmistakable adult plumage of black and white with a deep red crown. These social birds breed cooperatively.

Photo of Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker by Becky Matsubara (CC BY 2.0)

They also gather and hoard their namesake food communally, using dead trees or utility poles to store thousands of acorns.

Tomorrow's new bird is an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper finch. This specialized bird lives on the Big Island and is closely associated with the Mamane tree. Do you know the species?

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a New World woodpecker: the Northern Flicker!

Birdorable Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is a fairly common and widespread species across its range and can be found across North America. There are two living subspecies: the yellow-shafted and the red-shafted.

Yellow-shafted flickers show yellow under the tail and wings; these are found in the eastern part of the range. Red-shafted flickers are found in the west and show red under the tail and wings.

In the past, these subspecies have been considered completely separate full species. The closely related Gilded Flicker was formerly also considered to be the same species as the Northern Flicker.

Unusual among woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker can often be found feeding on the ground. They like to eat ants and other insects which they forage by probing the earth with their beaks.

Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted) by wplynn (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted) by Nick Varvel (CC BY 2.0)
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus cafer)
Red-shafted Northern Flicker by Dominic Sherony (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Northern Flicker is our 626th Birdorable bird. Be sure to check out our collection of apparel and gifts featuring the Birdorable Northern Flicker!

Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a small and very colorful flycatcher of South America. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Cute Northern Flicker Gifts

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a fairly common Old World woodpecker species: the Great Spotted Woodpecker!

Birdorable Great Spotted Woodpecker

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is found across Europe and northern Asia. This is a resident (non-migratory) species for the most part, though birds in the coldest areas may move seasonally.

Though common across most of their range, this mid-sized woodpecker tends to be quite inconspicuous, spending most of its time well-hidden in tree foliage. They are often heard -- either drumming (tree-pecking) or calling (vocalizing) before they are seen.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers have a varied diet. The will feed on insects foraged from crevices in bark. They also eat plant material like seeds and fruit. Eggs, young chicks and even small rodents are also common food items for Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (adult male)
Adult male Great Spotted Woodpecker by Tom Lee (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Great Spotted Woodpecker Portrait
Great Spotted Woodpecker Portrait by Andy Morffew (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Adult female and juvenile male great spotted woodpeckers
Adult female and juvenile male great spotted woodpeckers by Dave_S. (CC BY 2.0)

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is our 621st Birdorable bird and our 10th cute woodpecker species.

Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a very large Australian bird of prey. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Cute Great Spotted Woodpecker Gifts

This week's featured t-shirt is our Save the Red-cockaded Woodpecker design on a Men's Basic Dark T-Shirt. The male Red-cockaded Woodpecker has a small red streak on the side of its head, called a cockade, which gives the species its name. These woodpecker live in the southeastern United States, and unfortunately their conservation status is considered vulnerable. Show your support for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker with this Birdorable graphic tee.

Birdorable Save the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Men's Basic Dark T-Shirt
Birdorable Pileated Woodpecker

Today’s bird, and the 18th (and second-to-last!) species in the Birdorable Bonanza, is the Pileated Woodpecker!

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker by
magnificentfrigatebird

Pileated Woodpeckers are the largest species of woodpecker currently found in the Americas (the believed-extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker and Imperial Woodpecker were both larger). During nesting season, both male and female birds take care of incubating the eggs, though males will take over for overnight incubation. Both parents care for the nestlings as they grow.

Birdorable Pileated Woodpecker Product Samples

Tomorrow's bird is an extinct bird that used to live in the United States. Can you guess what it will be?

Birdorable Bonanza Preview
Birdorable Black Woodpecker

If you've ever wandered through the dense forests of Eurasia, you might have been lucky enough to hear the deep, resonant drumming of the Black Woodpecker. This striking bird, cloaked in jet-black feathers with a bold red crown, is a sight to behold. Standing as the largest of the Old World woodpeckers, the Dryocopus martius carves out a niche in both the literal and ecological sense, playing a vital role in its habitat.

The Black Woodpecker, with its glossy black plumage, is not just a feast for the eyes but also a marvel of bird engineering. Its beak, a natural chisel, is designed to bore into the hardest of woods, creating intricate nests and searching for its favorite meal: wood-boring insects. These birds are master carpenters of the avian world, and their ability to excavate large cavities in trees not only provides them with nesting sites but also benefits other species that use these spaces for their homes.

Living primarily in mature forests across Europe and Asia, these woodpeckers have adapted perfectly to life in the woods. Their preference for old-growth forests, with plenty of dead or decaying trees, showcases the importance of preserving natural woodlands. These habitats are crucial not only for the Black Woodpecker but also for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Despite their somewhat ominous appearance, Black Woodpeckers are shy and elusive. Spotting one requires patience and a bit of luck. Early morning is often the best time to catch a glimpse of these birds as they go about their daily routines of foraging and nest-building. Their distinctive call, a loud and clear "klee-yee," can echo through the forest, serving as a beacon for birdwatchers.

Black Woodpecker by Stefan Berndtsson (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

The breeding season brings out another interesting aspect of Black Woodpecker behavior. They are monogamous birds that put a lot of effort into their nesting sites, which they return to year after year, continuously improving and expanding them. The male takes the lead in nest excavation, which can take up to two weeks—a testament to their dedication and work ethic.

Conservation efforts for the Black Woodpecker have been relatively successful, with the species maintaining a stable population in most of its range. However, they are not without threats; habitat loss due to deforestation and the removal of dead trees, which are often seen as unsightly or dangerous, can have detrimental effects on their population. Thus, conservationists emphasize the importance of preserving old-growth forests and standing deadwood, vital components of the Black Woodpecker's habitat.

The Black Woodpecker's role in the ecosystem extends beyond just being a magnificent bird to observe. By creating nesting cavities, they provide habitats for a variety of other species, including bats, owls, and other small mammals and birds that cannot excavate their own nesting sites. This makes them a keystone species, underlining the interconnectedness of forest ecosystems and the importance of each species within it.

For those passionate about birds, the Black Woodpecker represents the mystery and allure of the forest. Its presence is a reminder of the wild, untamed beauty of nature and the need to protect and preserve our natural habitats. Whether you're a birdwatcher, a conservationist, or simply someone who appreciates the wonder of nature, the Black Woodpecker is a bird that captivates the imagination and inspires a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

Cute Black Woodpecker Gifts

Birdorable Eurasian Green Woodpecker

Meet the Green Woodpecker, the avian equivalent of an anteater, and the second star of our Birdorable Bonanza 2010. This vibrant bird, with its striking green plumage, offers a fascinating glimpse into the adaptability and ecological niche that birds can occupy.

Green Woodpeckers are a spectacle of nature, primarily found frolicking across the landscapes of Europe and parts of western Asia. Their presence is notably significant in countries like France, Spain, and Germany, where they contribute to over half of their global population. What sets these birds apart is not just their vivid coloration but their unusual feeding habits.

Unlike their wood-boring cousins, Green Woodpeckers have carved out a niche that involves foraging for their food on the ground. Their diet is remarkably specialized, focusing almost exclusively on ants. This peculiar choice of sustenance has earned them the nickname "avian anteaters." They use their long, sticky tongues to probe into ant colonies, extracting their prey with precision. This diet is not only a testament to their adaptability but also highlights the intricate relationships within ecosystems, where every species plays a role in maintaining the balance.

Male Green Woodpecker photo

Male Green Woodpecker by hedera.baltica (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

The Green Woodpecker's approach to life is a departure from the typical woodpecker behavior. Most woodpeckers are known for their characteristic pecking on tree trunks, a behavior that serves multiple purposes, including foraging for insects, creating nesting sites, and communicating with other woodpeckers. However, the Green Woodpecker spends a significant amount of its time on the ground, its bright green plumage blending seamlessly with the grass, as it hunts for ants.

Observing a Green Woodpecker in its natural habitat is a treat for birdwatchers. Their vibrant plumage, combined with their distinctive laughing call, adds a layer of charm to the forests and woodlands they inhabit. The sight of a Green Woodpecker diligently foraging on the ground, undeterred by the presence of onlookers, is a reminder of the diversity and adaptability of bird life.

Tomorrow, we turn our attention to a beautiful little yellow bird that breeds in cavities in North America. Can you guess what it will be?

Cute Green Woodpecker Gifts

Today friend-of-Birdorable Sharon - Birdchick herself - posted a neat celebrity birding video on her blog. In the clip, she talks with Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller) about the birds in his Las Vegas back yard, including a Black-chinned Hummingbird. It's a fun interview and includes some tips on using binoculars with glasses and on identifying your local Columbiformes. Sharon's wearing a Pecker Checker shirt from Birdorable in the interview, which means we join her in geeking out - Penn Jillette saw one of our shirts, OMG!

Cute Birdorable Red-bellied Woodpecker

Just six more birds in the Birdorable Bonanza until we reach our 200th Birdorable. We hope you like all the new birds so far. Today's species is one of our favorite local birds, the Red-bellied Woodpecker. This cute woodpecker lives in the eastern part of North America. They are named for a reddish tint found on the lower belly.

Until the 31st of July we'll be adding a new bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza until we reach the 200th at the end of this month. Here's a preview of tomorrow's bird:

Preview of Birdorable 195