This is a rather big woodpecker. It has dark top, white bottom and white stripes on wings and tail. The male bird has the red back of the neck; the young woodpeckers have all the upper part of the head red. The voice is a sharp “keek-keek”. Like other woodpeckers it has a typical “diving” way of flight. But the bird is not that cautious as other woodpeckers.

The bird’s diet is mixed one. The woodpecker’s main food through all the year is the maggots of forest vermin – the xylophage bugs. In addition, in the summer the bird feeds on ants and different animal food such as birds’ eggs and small nestlings. During winter a large part of the food consists of the seeds, nuts and acorns. The woodpecker uses splits in tree trunks or stub to put there a cone to hollow it out.

The bird is typical for many kinds of broad-leaved and mixed forests (usually open forests), and it is also common in southern and central taiga. The woodpecker is rarely seen in northern taiga where it usually sticks to forest openings, burnt areas and close to the villages alongside the Yenisei. Generally the bird is resident but it migrates to the south from the northern taiga.

The spring “tapping” of the great spotted woodpecker is one of the signals of the winter’s last part arrival. The average date calculated over many years in “Stolby” nature reserve is 21 February.

The grown-up nestlings begin to “chatter” in their hollows in the end of June and fly out in the beginning of July. The hollows are usually made in living aspens at 2-12 meters height. There are 4-6 white eggs in a set.


This is a small-sized woodpecker (a bit bigger than a sparrow). Its coloration resembles that of the great spotted woodpecker. The male bird’s top of the head is read, the female’s one is white. The woodpecker is very mobile. During nesting period it is very silent. Its voice resembles that of its greater “relative” but it’s much more higher “keek-keek”.

It feeds exclusively on insects – forest vermin. In summer it eats mostly insects that live in trunks and thin branches because other woodpeckers don’t use these parts of trees to feed. In wintertime the bird feeds on the insects hidden under bark.

Similar to the great spotted woodpecker, the lesser one is a typical bird of broad-leaved and mixed forests as well as river plains. It can be encountered in the Krasnoyarsk Territory as far north as Turuhansk.
The bird makes its nest in hollows of broad-leaved trees, usually damaged or rotten ones (they are easier to make hollows in). The hollows’ height is 0.5-2 meters, sometimes 10 meters. There are 5-9 white eggs in a set.