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Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma EX 500mm f4.5 APO HSM, RAW ISO 800, Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DG 1.4x
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-05-27 1:21
Viewed: 4442
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Green Woodpecker shot at RSPB Pulborough Brooks nature reserve. I have earlier posted a picture of a young Green Woodpecker taken last year at the same place.

The picture was taken quite late in the evening and light was already very low as you may see on camera settings: high ISO and lens wide open (f/4.5 + 1.4x converter).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis, sometimes called Yaffle) is a member of the woodpecker family Picidae. It occurs in most parts of Europe, and in western Asia.
The Green Woodpecker is probably the best known, though not always the commonest of the European woodpecker species; its large size, 30-36 cm in length with a 45-51 cm wingspan, conspicuous dress, loud call and habits render it more noticeable. Though a very green bird, colour is not always distinct in the field, much depending upon the light.
The plumage of the sexes is similar, dark green above and yellowish green below and with crown and nape crimson, but in the male the centre of the moustachial black stripe is crimson. The lores and around the eye is black in both male and female, except in the Iberian race P. v. subsp. sharpei which lacks this black area. The rump is chrome yellow, and this is very obvious in flight, allowing identification of the species from some distance. The outer webs of the primaries are barred black and white. The bill and feet are slate grey.
The crimson at the base of the bill is present in the young of both sexes, and their upper parts are barred, their underparts barred, streaked and spotted.
The usual habitat is more open than those of the pied Dendrocopos species; it frequents old timbered parks, and any open country where there are ancient trees rather than dense woodlands. Though a large and heavy bird it has an easy, bounding flight.
It alights on a trunk or bough and works upwards with a diagonal or spiral course in quick jerky jumps or runs, halting occasionally with head drawn back and bill held at right angles to its body. As it proceeds it taps the bark smartly, probably sounding it for hollows made by its prey. Rarely, a bird will descend for a short distance, tail foremost.
Insects are captured by a rapid outward flick of the long tongue, gummed to its tip by sticky saliva. From early in the year until summer the loud ringing plue, plue, plue is a typical woodland call, often described as a laugh, and from which the bird gets one of its names, "Yaffle".
Folklore has associated this "song" with a threat of rain, and another name is "Rain bird", but weather has little to do with the bird's calls. Though it has been heard to "drum" upon wood, it certainly does not use this call so frequently as the spotted woodpeckers. The alarm note is the laugh emphasised and harshened.
The food is similar to that of the spotted species, except that this bird has a passion for ants. It will attack large nests in the woods, throwing aside the piled pine needles with its bill and nipping up the insects with its tongue. When seeking ants it will wander to a distance from trees.
It can often be seen on garden lawns lying down on its belly and feeding, using its tongue, on yellow ants.
The nesting hole is larger but similar to those of the other woodpeckers. It may be a few feet above the ground or at the top of a tall tree. Five to seven glossy white eggs are laid upon wood chips late in April or early in May. There is only one brood.

boreocypriensis, haraprasan, Dan, Dis. Ac., goldyrs, jaycee, Royaldevon, CeltickRanger, Argus has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Pekka,
What a cute Green Woodpecker in a lovely pose. Nice colours and good DOF, POV. TFS.


Hi Pekka,
A nice capture of this beautiful woodpecker. Very good details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Dan Gold Star Critiquer [C: 113 W: 0 N: 2] (18)
  • [2008-05-27 9:20]

Hi Pekka,

Very nice your Gray Woodpecker in the colours
of the evening. I like the composition of your photo who gives off a lot of peace. I never saw this bird only the Grey Headed Woodpecker

Regards, Dan.

Hello Pekka,

Nice Green woodpecker,
Good pov and dof with nice colours.


Excellent shot, Pekka!The birds pose is awesome, as are the colours!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-05-27 11:55]

Hi Pekka,

I have never seen a green Woodpecker. Wonderful pose showing off that beautiful face. Details are so sharp and colors are deep and rich. A beautiful setting - lovely photo.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-05-27 13:53]

Hello Pekka,
a great photo of this Green Woodpecker.
Pin-point focusing and an excellent DOF.
Good sharpness and clarity.
Excellent exposure in the low light.

Very well done for capturing this secretive bird!


Hello Pekka,

This is a treat!
I have not seen one of these since we visited the new forest many years ago!
Lovely details of its markings and colours. It is nicely positioned off-centre and the sunlight from the left adds tonal interest.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-05-28 0:52]

Hello Pekka,
Nice capture of a Green Woodpecker making good use of the low lighting. The sharpness is good enough to allow him to stand out against the daker green BG and the composition, pose and POV couldn't be better.

hello Pekka

excellent image of the Green Woodpecker with fine POV, DOF
and vertical framing, i love the light coming on the subject,
excellent sharpness and details, TFS


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