Green Woodpecker
Animals, Birds

Scientific name: Picus viridis

The green woodpecker is a large woodpecker about the same size as a dove. Green woodpeckers nest in holes that they excavate in trees in broadleaved woodlands, orchards, large parks and gardens. They can often be seen hopping about on the ground on pastures and lawns, looking for ants and invertebrates to eat but they also climb tree trunks and have barbed tongues to help them extract insects from crevices in the bark. Green woodpeckers have an undulating flight.

Widespread, although absent from northern Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Specific name:
Picus viridis
Length: 31-33cm
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.

How to identify the Green Woodpecker?

Olive-green all over with a red crown and black around the face. Males have a red ‘moustache’ edged by black but females have an all-black moustache.

How can I help?

You can help to look after green woodpeckers, and many more of our common and rarer garden birds, by providing food and water for them – it doesn’t matter if you have a big garden or live in a high-rise flat, there are plenty of feeders, baths and food choices out there to suit all kinds of situations.