Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Scientific name: Dendrocopos minor

Did you know: The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Britain’s smallest woodpecker, is known for its unique high-pitched drumming and calls, making it a distinctive, though elusive, woodland resident.

What Do Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers Look Like? (how to identify them)

The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is the smallest of Britain’s resident woodpeckers. It’s marked by a black and white plumage with a straight, black-coloured bill. 

The male is easily distinguished by his bright red crown, while the female has a black and white crown with no red. Their bottom parts are white with dark streaking, and their wings have white barring. They fly with a bouncing flight in open areas.

Differences Between Male And Female Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers

The primary distinction between male and female Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers lies in the colouration of their crowns. Males sport a vivid red crown, while females have a black and white crown without the red patch.

What Do Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers Eat?

These woodpeckers primarily feed on insects. They forage along tree trunks and branches, often venturing into the higher canopy to seek out their prey. In the colder months, they may also excavate wood cavities in search of insects.

Where Do Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers Live? (inc. migration info)

Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers inhabit woodlands, parks, and sometimes well-wooded gardens across England and Wales. They like to stay in mature broadleaf forests, especially those rich in oak trees or dead wood. While they are mostly sedentary, their populations can be somewhat nomadic in response to food availability.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers)

Their vocal repertoire includes a high-pitched ‘kee-kee-kee’ call, similar to the Kestrel, and a softer drumming sound compared to other woodpecker species. Their calls are often the best clue to their presence, especially in dense woodlands.

Fun Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Facts (kid friendly)

  • Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are the smallest woodpeckers in Britain.
  • They can be hard to spot because they like to stay high up in trees.
  • Males have a bright red spot on their heads.
  • They make a unique drumming sound that’s different from other woodpeckers.
  • These woodpeckers love eating insects, especially beetles and larvae.
  • They nest in holes they peck in trees.
  • In flight, they look like they’re bouncing through the air.
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are great at hiding, making them a fun challenge to spot.
  • They are quite rare and special to see in the UK.
  • Watching these woodpeckers can be like a game of hide and seek in the forest!

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Images

image coming soon Submit Image
Male
image coming soon Submit Image
Female
image coming soon Submit Image
Hatchling
image coming soon Submit Image
Nestling
image coming soon Submit Image
Chick
image coming soon Submit Image
Fledgling
image coming soon Submit Image
Juvenile

Facts About The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Diet: Insects.
Bird Family: Woodpeckers
Length: 14-15cm
Wingspan: 25-27cm
Weight: 17-25g
Scientific Name: Dendrocopos minor

The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December