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Black Woodpecker

The crow-sized black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) is the biggest European woodpecker species in the Tiroler Lech Nature Park. 

Its feathering is pitch black. The scarlet crest of the males is striking. The females crest is of a considerably more discreet red

Black woodpeckers live in large deciduous and coniferous forests with old but not too densely standing trees. A breeding pair takes up to an area of 100 hectares for themselves (corresponds to the size of 140 football fields). Black woodpeckers build 8-10 sleeping and breeding caves in their territory. They eat ants and their larvae and cocoons, insects living in the woods, and the bark from the trees, (including  bark beetles and longicorns). This woodpecker also eats caterpillars, spiders and snails. Occasionally they also eat berries and fruit. 

The black woodpecker is not only the biggest woodpecker in Europe, but it also builds the biggest woodpecker caves, which are then used by other tenants such as boreal owls, pine martens, bats and wild bees.  


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