Grey-headed woodpecker

Picus canus

Grey-headed woodpecker, photo Antti Koli

The grey-headed woodpecker belongs to the group of green woodpeckers and Estonians often confuse them with green woodpeckers. Unlike the green woodpecker, the heads of grey-headed woodpeckers are dominantly grey; the foreheads of male birds, however, are red. Grey-headed woodpeckers are also slightly smaller than green woodpeckers. Grey-headed woodpeckers make their nests in the tree hollows of broad-leaved trees, preferring species with softer wood. Trees that are somewhat rotten are therefore particularly suitable. The grey-headed woodpecker makes a simple nest from dry material on the bottom of a tree hollow. Even though grey-headed woodpeckers happily eat ants, they do not cause as much damage to the forest as wrynecks and green woodpeckers, as they mostly eat other insects that can be found on tree trunks and bark. They are under protection.