The Woodpecker Network


Now, late May and early June, is the perfect time to find and observe Lesser Spotted Woodpecker nests. We have lots of reports of Great Spot nests with adults feeding noisy young. Lesser Spots are usually a week or so later.  From our experience of monitoring over 60 Lesser Spot nests in the last few years, this is the easiest time to find a nest. The adults will be bringing food every few minutes and as they get nearer to fledging the young start to call from the nest.

If you are able to, please visit any site where you saw a Lesser Spot earlier in the year or other likely Lesser Spot woodlands and look for a nest. here is the information needed:

For most of us fieldwork is very restricted or even impossible now because of Covid-19 restrictions but you can still contribute to a valuable project which will help Lesser Spotted Woodpecker conservation …and you can do it from your desk.

We know that many people take good quality images of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers and by now there must be many thousands stored in the cloud and elsewhere. These may hold valuable information on food being brought to the nest that will help in the conservation of the species.

Dead wood beetles and their larvae are an important source of food for woodpeckers. Will dead Ash trees boost the supply of beetles? 

Now is the time to get out into the woods and find Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers.
They are at their most conspicuous now (March and April) and are easily audible and visible (as there are no leaves on the trees). We (LesserSpotNet) have already had lots of reports of birds displaying, calling and drumming. So now is a great time for you to check suitable woodland for the presence of Lesser Spots and keep a record. During the winter their home range can be huge, hundreds of hectares, but in a few weeks, they will settle down in favoured nesting area. Still a big area but is much smaller than their winter range.

Please help with the Lesser Spot Network project this year.

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

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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