Great Spotted Woodpecker
Dendrocopos major

RSPB Conservation Status – Green

Last seen – 10-8-22

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is one of the largest woodpecker species found in the UK.

The bird’s plumage is distinctive, with a black and white striped back and a bright red patch on its head.

The male has an additional red patch on the nape of its neck, while the female does not.




Population – 140,000 pairs

Length – 22 – 23 cm

Wingspan – 33 – 39 cm

Weight – 80 – 90 g


Great Spotted Woodpeckers typically breed between April and June, building their nests in tree cavities or crevices.

The female lays a clutch of 4-7 eggs, which she incubates for around 13-15 days.

The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge from the nest after around 20-24 days.


Great Spotted Woodpeckers are found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, parks, gardens, and hedgerows.

They prefer deciduous forests with mature trees, but they can also be found in coniferous forests and mixed woodlands.



Great Spotted Woodpeckers are omnivores, feeding on a variety of insects, seeds, and berries.

They are particularly fond of insects that live in trees, such as beetles and ants, which they extract from bark using their sharp beaks.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers are also known to feed on nuts and seeds, including acorns and beech mast.

If you have seen a Great Spotted Woodpecker, please let us know via our survey page.