The Kennedy Wild Bird Food guide to the great spotted woodpecker

The Kennedy Wild Bird Food guide to the great spotted woodpecker

The great spotted woodpecker is one of the most beautiful UK birds and also one of the easiest to distinguish, not just by its brightly coloured plumage, but also its unique sound.

In this guide, we take a closer look at this forest-dwelling wild bird and tell you a little more about why we love the great spotted woodpecker so much. 

What does a great spotted woodpecker look like?

Great Spotted Woodpecker


Great spotted woodpeckers are very easy to identify amongst other UK wild birds. This is due to their brightly coloured red underbellies and head stripe. You can also spot them by their black and white spotted wings, as they dash between trees.


They are a medium sized bird, not quite as large as a pigeon, but much bigger than the more common starling. They also sport a long pointed beak, which they use to peck into tree trunks in order to find food.  

What does the great spotted woodpecker sound like?

The great spotted woodpecker can be identified by two very different sounds. The first, being the great spotted woodpecker call, which is a very high pitched squeak, that often emits in short sharp bursts.


The second is the unique drumming sound, which is like a very small drilling sound, as the woodpecker uses its strong beak to create holes in the trunks of trees.


 

Behaviours of the great spotted woodpecker

The great spotted woodpecker spends most of its time racking through trees, drumming into strong bark in order to find food. When nesting, they will often find small crevices within the trees, old nests or nest boxes, in order to lay their eggs.

They are also omnivores, choosing small insects as their meal of choice. This is why we recommend our hanging fat balls and other suet based products, as great spotted woodpeckers enjoy suet and protein-rich wild bird food.

One of our favourite products for great spotted woodpeckers is our suet log feed holder and suet logs! These are great as they not only offer delicious suet, but they also resemble the trunk and branches of a tree!

 

Where and when can I see a great spotted woodpecker?

To see these majestic birds, you need to be in or close to a very wooded area, as the woodpecker prefers to stay close to large and dense tree lines. This means they are best spotted in nature reserves, large parks, forests and woodland.

If you’ve seen a great spotted woodpecker recently, why not help out the other bird spotters in our community and log your sighting on our Birdspotter app!

Where to see a great spotted woodpecker

What do great spotted woodpeckers eat?

When it comes to wild bird food for great spotted woodpeckers, we recommend high protein wild bird food, like our suet based products.

However, because woodpeckers love to feast on insects in the wild, mealworms for birds and our worm-a-mix are also ideal for feeding visiting great spotted woodpeckers!