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Thread: European Woodpecker ID help request

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default European Woodpecker ID help request

    I am traveling through Turkey and today I saw two woodpeckers in a wooded, mountainous area in the northwestern part of the country.

    The lower bird in the picture is definitely a female Syrian Woodpecker, which we were able to ID pretty readily. The bird with the red crown is the one that's stumping me. Is it a Juvenile Syrian or a Middle Spotted?

    The bird in question appeared marginally smaller than the female Syrian, and, although it does not show in this photo, when I first observed it, the red crown was raised making the bird appear to have a fluffy crest. It did also have streaking on the lower belly. We weren't able to get a photograph which showed the beak, unfortunately and since I didn't know what field marks/characteristics to look for initially, I failed to note whether it had a moustache or the size of its beak.

    Does anybody out there have any insight/opinions on this? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Galway city, Ireland


    Hi there,
    This is a Middle Spotted Woodpecker. Juvenile Syrian Woodpeckers fledge a lot later in the year than this, and the apparent smaller size, streaking on the flanks and proportionally large eye all point towards Middle Spotted. That species also seems to have a habit of raising the crown feathers: attached is a pic I got of one doing this in Poland in May 2007.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Member nickderry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    I agree with Harry - Middle Spot.

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