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Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos minor

The male lesser spotted woodpecker has a red crown. Photo Christer Hangelin.

General information. The lesser spotted woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in Finland. They are similar in appearance to the rare, white-backed woodpecker, but are smaller in size and have a more slender build. The red vent of the white-backed woodpecker is also absent on the lesser spotted woodpecker. During autumn and winter, the lesser spotted woodpecker may visit feeding tables where it is easily distinguishable due to its distinct smaller size.

  • Length 16 cm
  • Excavates a nesting hole in a rotted tree
  • Young in particular migrate south during autumn
  • Feeds on insects

Habitat. Lesser spotted woodpeckers nest in deciduous forests. It thrives in waterfront groves, natural mixed-type forests, old growth mixed-type forests, especially pastures and large parklands. The nest may be located in a rotted deciduous tree away from the grove where the young tend to look for food under a layer of lush vegetation.

Distribution in Vaasa. The lesser spotted woodpecker is a rare nester in Vaasa. During the survey, it was observed in only 26 survey blocks. It can be found nesting both in the deciduous and mixed- type forests in the archipelago, in addition to the lush coppices along the coast. Closer to the city, it is most likely spotted during April to June, for example in Gerby, Suvilahti or Vaskiluoto.