European Green Woodpecker

A ground-feeding woodpecker that often forages in grassy-places, this species is well-camouflaged by green plumage. Its habitats include open woodland, woodland edge, shrubby growth, and open areas with scattered trees. In flight, a yellow rump is revealed. This species displays the typical flight pattern of woodpeckers, rising with a few, quick wingbeats, then making a short, downward swoop with wings closed, repeating these movements to create an undulating flight path (seep. 16). Because of its camouflage-plumage the species is difficult to spot, and is best known for its ringing call, a rapidly repeated "plui-plui-plui" that falls away in pitch and volume. When feeding, it crouches and probes for ants' nests, extending its very long, sticky tongue into their burrows, and often working for long periods. In winter it digs deep into snow to locate the large nest heaps made by wood ants.

• NEST a hole excavated in the trunk of a free-standing tree, sometimes as low as 3/« ft (1 m) above the ground.

• DISTRIBUTION Europe from Britain DISTRIBUTION * to Russia, and parts of S.W. Asia to N. Iran.

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