Multicolored woodpecker

multicolored woodpecker
multicolored woodpecker
Order: Woodpecker birds (Piciformes)
family: Woodpeckers (Picidae)
Unterfamilie: Genuine woodpeckers (Picinae)
kind: Multicolored woodpeckers (Dendrocopos)
kind: Multicolored woodpecker
scientific name
Dendrocopos major
(Linnaeus, 1758)

the multicolored woodpecker (Dendrocopos major;also large multicolored woodpecker, red woodpecker, sign woodpecker) is bird a kind from the kind of the multicolored woodpeckers (Dendrocopos) and the family of the woodpeckers (Picidae). It is the most frequently occurring kind of woodpecker in Central Europe. Its drum rolls are to be heard also in cities,since the multicolored woodpecker uses also city parks as habitat.

Table of contents


the multicolored woodpecker is about 23 cm long. Its wingspanamounts to between 34 and 39 cm. It is heavy between 60 and 90 g. Its plumage is black colored yellowish grey with two large white wing marks and unterseits oberseits. The Unterschwanzdecken is lively red colored. Both sexes have a yellowish front mark,Males a red neck mark and young animals a red vertex. The cheeks are white colored. At the neck sides are black beard strips.

Their skin, which protects it against insect bites, is unusually thick. A springy, joint-like connection between the broad bill basis andthe head cushions the vibration, which develops with rooms of the woodpecker cave. The attitude at the tree, stable upright, thereby and, is supported through strong muscles, which control the supporting tail feathers/springs. In order to prevent the inhalation of the developing Sägemehls, are thoseNostrils of the multicolored woodpecker with fine feathers/springs over-grow.


the multicolored woodpecker occurs in Europe as well as in north and Eastern Asia . Afterwards to the European area there is also occurrences in northwest Africa (Atlas - countries) and in southwest Asia(Anatolien, Caucasus - countries, north Iran).


the multicolored woodpecker is to few specialized domestic kind of woodpecker and therefore also the most frequently occurring. One can find it both in leaves - and in coniferous forests,in addition, in parks and in the culture landscape, if avenues , wind protection strips or small groups of trees there are present. Thus it belongs for example to the birds, which are to be found within green ranges of Berlin. Oaks of mixed woodlands with much old and Totholzoptimal habitats are for it. Monotonous spruces or pure beeches of forests exhibit only small woodpecker occurrences would clean-exist.


multicolored woodpecker

the multicolored woodpecker nourishes itself during the predominant time of the yearly mainly of insects and its larvae,which it gets out with strong bill blows under the bark. During the winter time it is able to change its nutrition over. In this time, in which insects are scarce, it eats Nüsse, berries and seeds of coniferous trees. Many thatfat-rich seed, which serves it in the winter for the nutrition, must be cracked only. While Rabenvögel, as for instance the Eichelhäher, hold Haselnüsse with the foot, the multicolored woodpecker gets jammed Nüsse or Kiefernzapfen in tree columns. For the production of the latters chopsit often into a branch a hole, in order to clamp the tap in it. These are the so-called “woodpecker spechtschmieden”, which the multicolored woodpecker also uses, in order to crack hardshelled beetles. In the winter they remain in their habitat.

sound expressions

over onits food to arrive, which (beside seeds and Haselnüssen) consists of larvae and insects under barks, knocks itself the multicolored woodpecker by the crust. Typically it knocks thereby in the following rhythm: --….-. ---…. (here represented in Morsekode)

attracting the females inthe Balzzeit and the district demarcation serves “drums”, a very fast until 2 seconds lasting consequence of 10-15 bill impacts. Drums is to be already heard in the outgoing winter. The males begin drums with that, as soon as the cave gezimmerte by themand use thereby all available resonance bodies are. Hollow trunks or dead branches are typical. Multicolored woodpeckers let their eddies ring out however also at rainwater gutters. During individual drum rolls, which consist only of 10 to 20 single impacts, the whole year overring out, are longer the drum rolls of the male during the Balzzeit starting from December and ring out more frequently. Also the females let drum rolls erschallen, if they are in the district of a male and make thereby on itself attentively. As is the case for many other einzelgängerischenThe Balz serves animal species to overcome the innerartliche aggression. It contains therefore also gestures of threatening like a breaking the bill or a setting up of the vertex feathers/springs.

A further sound expression is a short hard “kick” or “kix”. The all year round territorial birds leavethis up to 120 times in the minute erschallen, in order to define their territory opposite other animals.


the multicolored woodpecker is like all woodpeckers a cave breeder. The Bruthöhlen zimmert it and prefers in addition soft wood androtten old trees. He begins to prepare many concavities, before he completes only one.

It puts 4 to 7 white eggs, which are long bebrütet about 11-13 days. The young birds are long fed about 3 to 4 weeks, to themgo on a trip. In the second half of the feeding phase are easy nests because of the continuous loud Gezeters of the young birds to discover.


the multicolored woodpecker was bird of the yearly 1997. Multicolored woodpeckers cause often large damage (holes) at thermal insulated house fronts.Particularly buildings in city park proximity are concerned, since young woodpeckers must be opened due to the district behavior new areas. Remedy creates a Sperberattrappe from plywood, which is fastened to a Galgen, which rises up over the roof edge, there Sperber the natural enemies thatWoodpeckers are.


  • Cord Riechelmann: Wild animals in the large city. Nicolai publishing house Berlin, 2004, ISBN 3-89479-133-0

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