If you can't beat them...

By Jerra

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Another from the window shot.  Currently a lot of things are changing in our garden birds.  The Siskins are back in force there are nearly always some inview and as many as 6 at a time.  The amount of food being eaten by the birds has risen greatly, until recently they took 3 days to empty a tube now they empty a tube a day.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker (from now on called a GSW) hasn't been around since they were feeding young last year.  I haven't heard any drumming so I doubt young are the reason for the return.  When they have young they seem to pop in for a quick feed for themselves before returning to the search for suitable fledgeling food.

When drumming they manage between 10 and 40 knocks per second.  Yes that is per second I haven't made a mistake.  It is a good job they have a system built into their head which acts as a shock absorber.  I don't recommend anyone trying to imitate a GSW.   The shot by the way is of  a male identifiable by the red nape (not visible in this shot but clear in some of the others).

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