The Green Woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain,
and its loud laughing call has earned it the country name of the 'Yaffle'.
My usual view of this bird is,
It has a heavy-looking body, green mantle and wings, yellowish rump and whitish underparts. The crown and nape are red, with a black marking around the white eye.
Females can be told from males by their completely black moustache and smaller eye-patch. Males have a streak of red along their black moustaches.
The tail is short, blackish with green barring, the bill is strong, and grey-black.
The legs are olive-grey.
Juveniles are copiously streaked and barred on the face, neck and underparts. Also, their upperparts are greyer with scattered pale spots and the moustache is speckled.
They resemble adults after moulting in August-November.
They have an undulating flight, and will climb up tree trunks and branches, and move around to be on the side away from anyone watching.
As with other woodpeckers, the stiff tail feathers are used as a prop when it is clinging to a tree and its toes are specially arranged with two pointing forwards and two backwards.
They are a woodland bird and feed on insects, such as ants, beetles and caterpillars, by extracting them from crevices in trees with their long sticky tongue. The tongue of the Green Woodpecker is so long (10cm) it has to be curled round its skull. The tongue, which is armed with barbs at the end, is used for extracting ants.
They are often seen feeding on ants on the ground, in garden lawns and pastures.
A handsome bird
To finish, a short video clip of a juvenile, taken at my local lake.
More birds from around the world can be seen at Springmans WBW