From today's featured article
The great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is a medium-sized woodpecker with pied black and white plumage and a red patch on the lower belly. Males and young birds also have red markings on the neck or head. This species is found across Eurasia and parts of North Africa, in all types of woodlands. Some individuals have a tendency to wander, leading to the recent recolonisation of Ireland. Great spotted woodpeckers chisel into trees to find food or excavate nest holes, and also drum for contact and territorial advertisement; they have anatomical adaptations to manage the physical stresses from the hammering action. They can extract seeds from pine cones and insect larvae from inside trees, and will eat eggs and chicks of other birds. Both parents incubate the clutch of four to six eggs and continue to feed the chicks for about ten days after they fledge. The species has a large population and is not threatened. (Full article...)
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