Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a fairly common Old World woodpecker species: the 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.
Adult male Great Spotted Woodpecker by Tom Lee (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Great Spotted Woodpecker Portrait by Andy Morffew (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Adult female and juvenile male great spotted woodpeckers by Dave_S. (CC BY 2.0)
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.
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.
Tomorrow's bird is an extinct bird that used to live in the United States. Can you guess what it will be?
The Black Woodpecker, Dryocopus martius, is native to northern parts of Eurasia. They can be identified by their large size (about 18 inches long) and their all-black plumage. Black Woodpeckers sport a scraggly head crest of red, which is larger in males than in females.