The Woodpecker Network


A great way to find out more about our British woodpeckers get a copy of 'Woodpeckers' by Gerard Gorman in the RSPB Spotlight series

We were prompted to post this book review after meeting up with woodpecker expert Gerard Gorman again at the Bird Fair last week. He gave an intriguing talk exploring whether Black Woodpeckers are likely to reach the UK soon !!

His Spotlight book 'Woodpeckers' is a brilliant, accessible introduction to our British woodpeckers and their behaviour and we recommended it.
It covers in detail the three species of woodpecker resident in the UK:

  • the Green Woodpecker, often seen on lawns and in fields;
  • the Great Spotted Woodpecker, a frequent visitor at garden birdfeeders;
  • and the tiny Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, sadly now in decline.

Plus the Wryneck – which twists its neck 'like a snake' when threatened – which passes through the UK on its yearly migration and has captivated people throughout the ages.

Gorman and Gilberto 2019Gerard Gorman (right) with Gilberto Pasinelli at the International Woodpecker Conference in Bialowieza, Poland in 2019Woodpecker expert Gerard Gorman provides a close-up look at the lives of these birds, from their anatomy, diet and nesting habits to their iconic drumming behaviour.  He also explores the relationship that humans have enjoyed with woodpeckers for centuries, in folklore, myth and conservation, and gives tips on how to observe these wonderful birds in the wild. We have only four woodpeckers in UK but there are perhaps 250 other woodpecker species worldwide.

Gerard Gorman is an expert naturalist and author based in Hungary. He is widely regarded as Eastern Europe's most accomplished birding guide and is the author of seven books, including Woodpeckers of Europe (2004) and Woodpeckers of the World (2014).

We also met him at the International Woodpecker Conference in Bialowiesa Forest, Poland in the spring. He is seen here talking to conference chairman, Gilberto Pasinelli from Switzerland.

'Woodpeckers' is published by Bloomsbury Wildlife, ISBN 978-1-4729-5118-2, price £9.99

Available from NHBS (Natural History Bookshop)

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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