Black Woodpecker

by Paul White

One morning whilst on a field trip to a high meadow surrounded by forest, I heard the loud 'drumming' of a woodpecker. A black woodpecker was sat on a tree stump approximately thirty metres away pecking hard at the wood with it's powerful beak, probably looking for beetles or grubs.

Black woodpecker

The woodpecker wasn't concerned by my close proximity, maybe because it was so fixated on foraging. I took several photos and a short video clip, but I apologise for the poor quality. It eventually took off making a very distinctive call as it took off.



The following recording of a black woodpecker call is by Jan Eerala 



Black woodpeckers are not rare in this area of the eastern Carpathians, but they have always been pretty elusive to me with only an occasional far off glimpse or call. Previously on forest walks I have found evidence of their activity on trees when looking for food such as carpenter ants, wood boring beetles and larvae. This does appear destructive but many of these trees are already diseased and these holes are often used by other birds and mammals as nesting sites.