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Three-toed woodpecker

Picoides tridactylus

The three-toed woodpecker has, unlike other birds, only three toes. Photo Jan Nyman.

General information. The three-toed woodpecker is an inhabitant of old growth spruce forests. During winter, its quiet pecking can be discerned as the woodpecker searches for insects beneath the bark of spruce trees. If you are fortunate enough to spot this bird, its most distinguishing feature is its white back. The three-toed woodpecker is a protected species under the European Union Bird Directive.

  • Length 21-23 cm
  • Excavates a nesting hole in a spruce- or pine tree
  • Primarily sedentary species, juveniles wander during autumn
  • Feeds on insects and larvae and tree sap during spring

Habitat. The three-toed woodpecker is a bird inhabiting coniferous forests, particularly old growth spruce forests.

Distribution in Vaasa. During the Bird Atlas survey years, confirmation of nesting three-toed woodpeckers was made in two locations. Distribution map is not published due to species protection reasons.