Skip navigation

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos major

The great spotted woodpecker is characterized by a crimson abdomen and undertail, and an otherwise black and white plumage. Photo Jan Nyman.

General information. The great spotted woodpecker is the primary woodpecker species inhabiting Finnish forests. It is widespread throughout the country, especially south of the pine tree line. The nesting population varies depending on the amount of pine seeds available.

  • Length 24 cm
  • Through using its beak, it is able to excavate a nesting hole in an aspen or birch tree
  • Sedentary species. Migrates typically during autumn.
  • Feeds on seeds, grain and insects. A common visitor at feeding tables, where it eats suet.

Habitat. The great spotted woodpecker nests in coniferous and mixed-type forests. The nesting hole is usually excavated in an aspen tree, which is their primary nesting tree. The woodpecker has become accustomed to humans and can often be found nesting near human settlements.

Distribution in Vaasa. The great spotted woodpecker was observed during the nesting season in approximately 130 survey blocks. It nests in woodland areas both on the mainland and in the archipelago. It is, however, not found in the city centre and the large farmland areas in the southern part of the city.