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Great Spotted Woodpecker
Middle Spotted Woodpecker

A male adult "Great Spotted Woodpecker"

En erwuessene männleche Bontspiecht

(Dendrocopos major)

The "Middle Spotted Woodpecker"

De Mëttelspiecht

(Dendrocopos medius)


On this page I will explain the main differences between the different woodpeckers.

Middle spotted woodpecker

Let´s start with the slightly smaller middle spotted woodpecker. They have a red top of the head, the black neck patch is not connected to the back of the head, it has a dashed belly and the underside of the tail is light red. Its chest is coloured pale yellowish, the belly has a pink tone, which increases towards the rump to reddish.


The black facial signs are comparatively weak in this species, so that the face appears mostly dirty white. It has a light gray short beak.

The body length is about 20 cm (slightly smaller as the great spotted woodpecker, but significantly larger than the Lesser Woodpecker).

The middle spotted woodpecker is the only European woodpecker species where the color dimorphism between the genders is very weakly expressed.


The great spotted woodpecker is about 23 cm tall. Its wingspan is between 34 and 39 cm and it weighs between 60 and 90 grams.

As you can see on those photos, the juveniles (females and males) have a red crown and can at first sight easily be confused with the middle spotted woodpecker. One helpful detail is the fact that the great spotted woodpecker has black beard stripes on the sides of the neck.

Only the adult male has a red neck patch.

The life expectancy of the great spotted woodpecker is about 10 to 15 years.

Juvenile great spotted woodpecker

Some more photos of the adult female

great spotted woodpecker.


Some more photos of the adult male

great spotted woodpecker.

Female great spotted woodpecker
Male great spotted woodpecker

Actually I just have seen and photographed these two species of woodpeckers so far. But of course there are existing few more species from the woodpeckers:

  • Lesser spotted woodpecker (Dryobates minor),

  • White-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos),

  • Black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius),

  • European green woodpecker (Picus viridis),

  • Syrian woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus),

  • Grey-headed woodpecker (Picus canus),

  • Eurasian three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus)

  • Eurasian wryneck (Jynx torquilla)

And I'm almost sure I haven't listed them yet all... There are few species that are not so common, and it might take some time and luck to get photos of most of them.

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