Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Every now and then I got a glimpse of this bird which I'm pretty sure is not native to Northern Germany where I live. There are at least three of these birds around but I usually only see something quick and green somewhere in the trees. I finally managed to get some decent pictures so I'm hoping someone can tell me what kind of bird this is. I'm curious what biological niche this bird is likely to fill and which native species it might compete with.

photo of strange bird detail of its head

I think I also managed to record its call, although it was dark and my ornithology skills are next to zero so it might just be a native species that sounds foreign to my untrained ear.


share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Almost definitely (I'm not a regular birder) European Green Woodpecker (latin name: Picus viridis) and it is native to your area according to its species distribution map.

"Green woodpeckers are the largest and most colourful woodpeckers native to Britain. They are easily recognised by their laughing ‘yaffle’ call, which they use to demarcate their territory. They also drum on trees, though the sound is not as resonant as that made by the other two British species (the greater and lesser spotted woodpeckers). Green woodpeckers survive on a diet of insects and have a particular fondness for ants. They return day after day to their favourite ant hill to feed." - BBC nature

share|improve this answer

I confirm GriffinEvo answer: it is a Picus viridis.

Additionally we can see it is a young male (immature).

Young because the spots; picture of an adult here and young here.

Male because the red spot under the cheeks, the females get this part only black.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for your answer. In the future, please do not use URL shorteners like goo.gl for your links - there is no text limit on answers, redirection schemes may not last forever, and the simple fact that you're obscuring the URL may lead readers to think that you're trying to hide something like a spam site. –  MattDMo May 6 '14 at 2:58
@MattDMo Ok, took note. I will edit my answer to put the real links. In fact I use goo.gl redirection mainly like a habit whatever is the limit (or not) of the site I publish. –  ruffp May 6 '14 at 7:12
@MattDMo Ok I just notice you change the links in your edit. –  ruffp May 6 '14 at 7:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.