White-backed Woodpecker

The White-backed Woodpecker, (Dendrocopos leucotos), is a woodpecker belonging to the genus Dendrocopos. It is the largest of the spotted woodpeckers at 9-10 inches long and has plumage similar to the Great
Spotted Woodpecker, but with white bars across the wings rather than spots, and a white lower back. The male has a red crown, the female a black one.

The prevailing race, D. l. leucotos, occurs in central and northern
Europe. The race D. l. lilfordii is found in the Balkans and Turkey. It is a scarce bird, requiring large, mature woods with plenty of dead wood. Numbers have decreased in Nordic countries. Ten further races occur in the region eastwards as far as Korea and Japan.

In the breeding season it excavates a nest hole about 2-3 inches wide and 12 inches deep in a decaying tree trunk. It lays three to five white eggs and incubates for 10-11 days. It lives predominantly on wood-boring beetles as well as their larvae, as well as other insects, nuts, seeds and berries.