Great Spotted Woodpecker Bird is a familiar bird across most of our region. The upperparts of Great Spotted Woodpecker Bird are black, patterned with white, two large oval white patches on the scapulars being the boldest feature. The flight feathers are banded with white transverse bars, and the short stiff tail is black, the outer feathers white barred with black. It has a black nape and crown, with a large white cheek patch enclosed by a black 'bridle' that loops from the bill to the rear of the cheek, plus a smaller white patch set within the black on the sides of the neck. The undertail coverts are crimson, and the remaining underparts are buffish-white. In the male, there is a distinct patch of red on the nape, lacking in the female.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Bird is a resident, and the commonest of its family in northern and western Europe. It is found in all types of forest, both deciduous and coniferous, plus mature hedges, large gardens, parkland and smaller wooded patches. More northerly populations may disperse southwards when cone crops fail, and migrants can appear in various coastal habitats and even on treeless islands.
Attention is usually drawn by its call, as Great Spotted Woodpecker Bird shins up a tree trunk or flies in strongly undulating flight from one patch of trees to the next, uttering a loud "pick!" or "kik", usually uttered singly. When agitated it gives a series of rapidly repeated excited calls, accelerating into a hard rattling trill on occasions. It also has a softer "tchick". In spring it frequently 'drums', a resonant mechanical raining of blows on a suitably dry branch, often at the very top of a tree. The drum typically lasts for between 0.5 and 0.7 of a second, and includes 12-14 'knocks'. Both sexes drum, usually between February and May, with females drumming in the earlier part of this period.