Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor)

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The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) is a member of the woodpecker family Picidae. It is assigned to the genus Dendrocopos (sometimes incorrectly spelt as Dendrocopus).

The range of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is the Palearctic region, but several subspecies are recognised.

The male has a crimson crown, a brown forehead, a black superciliary stripe, and another from the base of the bill to the neck. The nape and upper back are black, but the lower back is barred with black and white. On the wings are broader and more conspicuous bars, and the outer tail feathers are also barred. The under parts are white with streaks on the flanks. The bill and legs are slate-grey.

In the female the crown is white, but the young birds of both sexes have more or less crimson on the head. There are no marked seasonal changes.

Populations of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are mostly resident, but can be nomadic to some degree. Annual fluctations in population numbers are common. The winter temperatures may exhibit a direct effect on winter survival of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers by heat loss, whereas weather conditions during spring have an indirect effect on breeding performance by affecting food production.

photo: Mihai BACIU


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