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Thread: Great-spotted Woodpecker question

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Great-spotted Woodpecker question


    For the last two days I've had a female gsw on a tree outside my window. At first I thought it was just feeding, but she is now clearly excavating a hole. It seems very early to be excavating a nesting hole, and I thought (perhaps wrongly) that the male did that. Any suggestions, please.

    Many thanks,
    John K

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Algarve, Portugal


    Hello John,

    And welcome to the forum.

    I do not think that hole excavation is an indication of breeding intent. I have large numbers of Great Spotted, and fewer Lesser Spotted, Woodpeckers around me and they make holes in anything from trees, to dead Agaves to telephone poles throughout the autumn/winter non-breeding season. It seems to be "compulsive behaviour" rather than a feeding tactic.

    Last edited by Colin Key; November 1st, 2008 at 01:10 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Also possible that there's some wood-boring insects deep inside the wood worth digging out.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Thank you both for your replies, and thank you for your welcome.

    Shame though - the thought of watching a gsw nest next spring rather appealed.


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