European Woodpeckers

There were until recently nine species of woodpecker in Europe, with only three of these species are found in Britain.

All nine species vary considerably in terms of range and rarity.  Some species such as the Syrian Woodpecker have a limited range across Southern Europe, but some species such as the Black Woodpecker have a large range across most European Countries.

Their size also varies considerably from species to species, Lesser Spotted are 14 - 17 cm tall but Black Woodpeckers are three times larger and are around 46 cm tall.

Until the recently introduced split of the Iberian Woodpecker as the tenth European species, It was possible to find all nine species of woodpecker in the same area and with careful planning these can be seen over a few days in a few countries such as Poland.

Over the years, I have photographed most of the European Woodpecker species in several countries including Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belguim, Hungry, and Bulgaria as well as Britain.


Iberian Green Woodpecker

Over the years many species of birds are split into different species, renamed or sub species are split into seperate species.  Recently, the Iberian Green Woodpecker has split from the Green Woodpecker into a seperate species meaning there are now ten species of Woodpecker in Europe

Iberian Green Woodpecker  (note: the link left is to the species page on the web pages)

The newly split species is found in Spain and Portugal, has a population of 250,000 to 450,000 pairs and is on the "red List" of endangered species.  At 31 - 33 cm in length it is the same size as the Green Woodpecker.  Its differing identification features are no (or very little) black on its head and a brown rather than white Iris.

I managed a brief view of a Iberian Green Woodpecker during a visit to the Algarve in Portugal in December 2015, but this was whilst in a vehicle and I did not manage any photographs. 

I have yet to see or photograph the White Backed Woodpecker, and as such it is a photographic target in my quest to photograph all European Woodpecker species.
Middle Spotted Woodpecker
Syrian Woodpecker
Woodpeckers are one of my favourite birds, as such I am always after more opportunities to photograph them.  My long term target is to photograph all nine species of European woodpecker to a reasonable standard.