Black Woodpecker

Class: Birds

Black Woodpecker

The crow-sized Black Woodpecker(Dryocopus martius) is the largest European woodpecker species in the Tyrolean Lech Nature Park.

Its plumage is pitch black. The scarlet crest immediately catches the eye, but it is found only in the males. In females, the red coloration is much more discreet.

Black woodpeckers inhabit larger deciduous and coniferous forests with old, not too dense trees. A breeding pair occupies an area of more than 100 ha (equivalent to about 140 soccer fields). Black woodpeckers build 8 - 10 roost and nest cavities per territory. Black woodpeckers eat ants and their larvae and pupae, wood- and bark-dwelling insects (e.g. bark beetles and long-horned beetles). Likewise, caterpillars, spiders and snails serve as food for this woodpecker. Less frequently, it eats berries and fruits.

The Black Woodpecker is not only the largest woodpecker in Europe, it also builds the largest woodpecker cavities, which are used by post-hibernators such as the Great Horned Owl, pine marten, bats and wild bees.

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