The Woodpecker Network


Great Spots are found widely throughout Britain, they are common in woodland and readily visit garden feeders. Lesser Spots are scarce and rarely seen. So you are much more likely to see a Great Spot than a Lesser Spot. But young Great Spots have a red head - don't confuse tham with a male Lesser Spot.

You can easily tell the difference………..

Here are some tips for finding and monitoring woodpecker nests, especially Lesser Spots based on the experiences of our volunteers.
Go to an area where you saw or heard LSW earlier in the year. Spend time in the area and:

Thanks to all LesserSpotNet volunteers who have been searching for LSW breeding territories and nests as part of our project.
We are now (late April) coming to the end of the peak period of detectability when birds can be found by their calls and drumming. Even during this period, the birds are by no means easy. As our volunteers will know well.
The good news – observers in Devon, the New Forest, Norfolk and Sussex have found Lesser Spots excavating nesting cavities and some look ready for the female to lay eggs.

Lesser Spot Network has reports so far this year from 19 counties right across the LSW breeding range. Birds are most likely to be detected from February to April, when they are actively establishing territories and pairing up and before the trees came into leaf. We have already had two reports of birds excavating. Many thanks to all observers who have sent in records so far and those who searched in vain, please keep them coming.  

We are very pleased that the UK Rare Birds Breeding Panel @ukrbbp has recognised the difficulty in collecting data and monitoring some rare breeding birds such as Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers and has appointed Ken Smith as Species Advisor for LSW to provide advice and encourage targeted recording.

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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