Bird Families

Lesser spotted woodpecker

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Appearance

Lesser spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) - a representative of the order of woodpeckers has a motley black and white plumage. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is considered the smallest species of woodpecker in Europe. The body size of this bird ranges from 13 to 16 centimeters in length, and its weight reaches a maximum of 22 grams. The wingspan of birds can be up to 30 centimeters. A distinctive feature is the absence of red in the undertail area. Males have a characteristic red color of the top of the head with a black edging, while in females the forehead and anterior region of the crown are colored only white. The tail has a stiff plumage. Small longitudinal stripes are visible on the sides. The lower part of the body is off-white. The iris of the eyes is brown with a reddish tint.

Habitat

The population of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker has spread on the northern side of the Palaearctic, from the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This species also settled in the European region of Russia. He chooses mixed and deciduous forests as a habitat, giving preference to a forest stand with soft wood. Can be populated in some parks and gardens. Unlike other woodpeckers, it is quite common in sparse woodlands.

Food

In nutrition, it prefers insects, which it preys in the crevices of the tree bark.Can be hung from tree branches to catch insects. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker destroys up to 72 species of insects. During the nesting period, openly living insects are chosen. And after the nesting period, it begins to look for the larvae of longhorn beetles and bark beetles, which it collects under the bark or in thin branches of shrubs. In order to get food, he hammers the bark of various trees. But most often he prefers to collect caterpillars, beetles or ants.

Breeding period

As a rule, the breeding season of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers begins in April, when the sonorous trill of males can be heard. The male and female are engaged in arranging the nest for the offspring. The hollow of an old tree is chosen as nests, which they hollow out with their beak. They prefer to settle at a height of up to 7 meters. Birches, aspens and alders are preferred as trees. And for the litter of the hollow, only wood dust is used. Typically, the female bears 3 to 6 eggs. The eggs appear white and shiny. Eggs are laid in April or May. No more than one brood per year. It is noteworthy that both the male and the female are engaged in incubation. The male does this mainly at night for 14 days.

Small chicks hatch in May or June. Cubs grow strong within three weeks of life, and then can leave their parents' territory. During the period when the chicks are not yet matured, the female, together with the male, is actively engaged in foraging for herself and her offspring.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Chick

Lifestyle

Lesser spotted woodpeckers are predominantly sedentary birds.In order to designate their territory, they use the sound "roll". Some individuals prefer to be high in the crowns of trees. With the onset of cold weather, birds often organize in flocks with other representatives of tits and pikas. The voice of small spotted woodpeckers is very shrill and a little alarming.

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