European green woodpecker

species of bird

The European green woodpecker (Picus viridis), or European green woodpecker, is a member of the woodpecker family Picidae. It occurs in most of Europe and in western Asia. There are four subspecies. All have green upperparts, paler yellowish underparts, and a red crown.

European green woodpecker
RO B Carol Park green woodpecker crop.jpg
European green woodpecker (male)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Picus
P. viridis
Binomial name
Picus viridis
Picus viridis dis.png

Gecinus viridis[2]

The woodpecker spends much of its time feeding on ants on the ground and does not often 'drum' on trees like other woodpecker species. It is a shy bird but usually draws attention with its loud calls. A nest hole is excavated in a tree; four to six eggs are laid which hatch after 19–20 days.

It gives a loud call known as yaffling.

Old deciduous trees for nesting, and nearby feeding grounds with plenty of ants, is essential. This is usually found in semi-open landscapes with small woodlands, hedges, scattered old trees, edges of forests and floodplain forests. Suitable habitats for foraging include grassland, heaths, plantations, orchards and lawns.[3]


  1. BirdLife International (2013). "Picus viridis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. John Gould describes the green woodpecker, Gecinus viridis in The Birds of Great Britain (vol. 3, 1873, plate 74).
  3. Alder D. & Marsden S. 2010. Characteristics of feeding‐site selection by breeding green woodpeckers Picus viridis in a UK agricultural landscape. Bird study, 57(1), 100-107.

Other websitesEdit

  • Weasel on flying woodpecker. BBC News Science & Environment. [1]
A juvenile male eats ants with the help of his tongue.