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Great Spotted Woodpecker

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is a more striking visitor to the garden. It is about the size of a starling, and has a black and white pattern over it's body and red flares on it's ears (male only) and lower breast.

As you would expect with a woodpecker, it uses it's tough pointed bill to probe and peck tree trunks for insects and grubs. It has a long tongue that shoots out to grab it's prey. You may hear the drumming of a male Greater Spotted Woodpecker before you see the bird.

In the UK (not Ireland) it is a resident breeding bird, choosing cavities in dead trees for it's nest. In the garden, they often take nuts and suet from hanging feeders.