Great spotted woodpecker

The most common woodpecker

Great spotted woodpecker, photo the City of Helsinki materialban, Jan W. Ahlfors

The great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is easy to both spot and hear. It nests in all of Helsinki’s large woodland areas.

The great spotted woodpecker has not been impacted by intensive forestry as badly as other woodpeckers, as it feeds on pine and spruce seeds.

In the winter, the great spotted woodpecker feeds on pine and spruce cones. It will typically make a groove, or ‘smithy’, on a dead branch, which it then uses to hold the cone in place while hammering out the seeds with its beak. Once it is done with a cone, it picks up another one to work on. This often results in a pile of cones forming under the woodpecker’s smithy. Young great spotted woodpeckers usually start wandering away from their nest in July.

Great spotted woodpecker, photo Eero Haapanen

Photo Eero Haapanen.

Great spotted woodpecker, photo Jussi Helimäki

Photo Jussi Helimäki.