White-backed Woodpecker

Information about the Bird White-backed Woodpecker

The nominate race D. l. leucotos occurs in central and northern Europe, with the race D. l. lilfordi found in the Balkans and Turkey. Ten further races occur in the region eastwards as far as Korea and Japan. It is a scarce bird, requiring large tracts of mature deciduous forests with high amounts of standing and laying dead wood. Numbers have decreased in Nordic countries. In Sweden, its population decline has caused the Swedish government to enact protection for the species in the national Biodiversity Action Plan. In the breeding season it excavates a nest hole about 7cm wide and 30cm deep in a decaying tree trunk. It lays three to five white eggs and incubates for 10-11 days. It lives predominantly on wood-boring beetles as well as their larvae, as well as other insects, nuts, seeds and berries. Drumming by males is very loud, calls include a soft kiuk and a longer kweek.It is the largest of the spotted woodpeckers in the western Palearctic, 24-26cm long with wing-span 38-40cm and has plumage similar to the great spotted woodpecker, but with white bars across the wings rather than spots, and a white lower back. The male has a red crown, the female a black one.The white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) is a Eurasian woodpecker belonging to the genus Dendrocopos.

There are twelve recognised subspecies.

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