Syrian woodpecker

One of the only birds that can drill a hole in the hardest of wood

MinoZig

In recent years, there has been a notable expansion of its distribution farther northwest into Europe, reflecting its adaptability to diverse habitats and environments. This woodpecker species is commonly found in open forests, plantations of trees and shrubs, as well as parks and gardens, where it relies on ancient trees for both food and nesting sites. Despite its striking coloration, the Syrian woodpecker often goes unnoticed due to its relatively secretive behavior and preference for dense vegetation.

Measuring approximately 23 centimeters (9 inches) in length, the Syrian woodpecker shares similarities in appearance with both the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) and the lesser spotted woodpecker (Dryobates minor). The male Syrian woodpecker is distinguished by its glossy black upper body adorned with a vibrant red mark on the nape, adding a splash of color to its plumage. Additionally, the male features white markings on the forehead, sides of the face, and neck, creating a striking contrast against the dark background. During the flight, the black flight feathers display prominent white patches, forming three distinctive wing bars, while a large white patch adorns the shoulder region. When the Syrian woodpecker fans out its short, stiff tail for climbing support, observers may notice a few white dots on the outer tail feathers.

In terms of behavior, the Syrian woodpecker exhibits typical woodpecker characteristics, including its distinctive drumming sounds produced by rapid pecking on tree trunks. This behavior serves multiple purposes, including communication with other woodpeckers, establishing territory, and locating potential food sources hidden beneath the bark of trees. As an omnivorous species, the Syrian woodpecker feeds on a diverse diet that includes insects, larvae, seeds, nuts, and occasionally small fruits. Its foraging techniques involve probing and excavating into tree bark using its specially adapted bill to uncover prey items.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Albania
2016
Breeding
Armenia
2016
Breeding
Austria
2016
Azerbaijan
2016
Belarus
2016
Bosnia And Herz.
2016
Breeding
Bulgaria
2016
Croatia
2016
Czechia
2016
Egypt
2016
Georgia
2016
Breeding
Germany
2016
Non-Breeding
Greece
2016
Hungary
2016
Iran
2016
Iraq
2016
Israel
2016
Breeding
Jordan
2016
Lebanon
0
Official estimate
EX
2016
Extinct locally
Moldova
2016
Montenegro
2016
Breeding
North Macedonia
2016
Poland
2016
Breeding
Romania
2016
Russia
2016
Breeding: European Russia
Serbia
2016
Breeding
Slovakia
2016
Slovenia
2016
Breeding
Spain
2016
Non-Breeding
Syria
2016
Turkey
2016
Ukraine
2016

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No