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Great Spotted Woodpecker



There are approximately 40,000 pairs in the UK.

The male has a red nape (base of the head), a juvenile (youngster) has a pinky forehead and the females head is plain black.

They can drum at tree at 20 times per second and with the force of 30 times the force of gravity.

They have special shock absorbers in their heads and the bill is stronger than a steel nail.

Woodpeckers have 2 toes pointing forward and 2 toes pointing backwards.

They have extra stiffened tail feathers to help wedge them against the side of a tree.

The muscle for the tongue reaches right around the back of the skull and the tongue is sticky on the end for removing insects from under the bark that they have chiseled away.

Both sexes excavate the nest hole which is approximately 28 cms deep and 5cms wide. 

Nesting takes place in May when 4 to 6 eggs are laid, which hatch in 2 weeks.  Fledging takes place after 3 weeks.

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