The Woodpecker Network


An interestingly different Lesser Spotted Woodpecker nesting season so far. The birds were active as usual in early spring but many seem to have delayed egg laying, perhaps due to the cold weather in April.

Two nests have almost the latest 'first egg dates' in our data set, 15th May. In previous years the birds have started laying on about 28th April

 LesserSpotNet volunteers are watching 12 nests, and we expect more to be found now that adults are starting to feed the young and become more visible again. 

LSW excavating nest cavity

Thanks everyone for records sent in so far. Calling, drumming and displaying birds have been reported from most of the sites monitored in 2022 plus some new locations, including in Berkshire, Norfolk, Surrey and Sussex. Pairs excavating nest cavities have been found in three locations so far.

All records of Lesser Spots in February or March are important as their presence at this time of year of is a good indication that they may be breeding in the area.
Records are needed to monitor their current population and how well they are doing in an area.

Woodpecker Network Breeding Season Report *

Another interesting and successful year for Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers in 2022. Thanks to the efforts of all our volunteers and collaborators we were able to collect breeding data from 19 nests. These were relatively successful with an average of just over 3.0 young fledged per nest which was the second best season since we started the monitoring in 2015 (8 years in total).

Which way to face ? Nest hole orientation of Great Spotted Woodpeckers
Poster presentation by Ken Smith and Linda Smith for the Hole-nesting Birds Conference held in Oxford from 7-9 September 2022

As primary cavity excavators, woodpeckers choose exactly where to excavate their nests and would be expected to select sites to maximise their fitness.

LSW RichardJacobs leftcolLesser Spotted Woodpecker by Richard Jacobs 2019 LSW TimPreston 256Lesser Spotted Woodpecker © Tim Preston

Don't confuse juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers with male Lesser Spots - they both have red caps!

Dont confuse your woodpeckers

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