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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: 2007-08-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Canon 100-400 L + 1.4x Extender, RAW ISO 400, B+W 77 010 UV-Haze 1 x
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-04-21 2:45
Viewed: 3835
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Green Woodpecker shot at RSPB Pulborough Brooks nature reserve.

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.

inked, PaulH, jaycee, Proframe, CeltickRanger, parthasarathi, Dis. Ac. has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To joey: Thanks for feedback Joepekkavalo1 1 04-21 09:20
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • inked Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 132 W: 0 N: 249] (771)
  • [2008-04-21 3:09]

hey Pekka,
great shot! i've never seen this type of woodpecker before.. great composition.. really nice pose, lighting, and lots of detail! nice low POV too.. well done! tfs

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-04-21 3:54]

Hello Pekka,
Great shot, interesting pose, very good colours and sharpness. In my countryside I haven't met for many years.
Regards, Pawel

Hi Pekka
Wonderful capture
Nice color
tfs jon

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-04-21 7:45]

Hi Pekka, i only ever hear these guys or catch a fleeting glimpse! Nice composition with lots of detail in his markings and the surrounding grass.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-04-21 8:34]
  • [+]

Excellent shot of this Green WoodPekka ;-)
This must be a juvenile due to the streaky plumage.
Great composition and low-down POV.
Sharp with great detail.
Excellent exposure.
What focal length was this taken at?
If it was 400mm then the f/5.6 can't be right because you used a converter so it should be f/8...

Very nice work!


  • Great 
  • citak (70)
  • [2008-04-21 9:22]

hi Pekka beatiful bird and excellent shot.I like very much this photo.
Regards, Kamil

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-21 9:52]

Hi Pekka,

This is unlike any woodpecker I have ever seen. What a beautiful bird with marvelous colors and a handsome face. Excellent details of the face, eye, and plummage. I love the red head. Wonderful pose in the nice long green grass.


  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-04-21 10:34]

Hello Pekka,

Great picture of this woodpecker. Good POV, DOF and sharpness. Wonderful detail of the feathers. Beautiful colours.

Hello Pekka,

Love the way you've captured the Woodpecker at the ground and the low viewing/shooting angle.
Wonderful feather details and the color contrast between the green tones of the grassess and the red on the head is beautiful.
Very good exposure also which was'nt easy with the sun shining on the grass and not on the bird.
Very well done and excellent note. TFS!!!

Best regards, Harry

hello Pekka

this is very beautiful image of the Green Woodpecker,
fine POV at the level of the subject, i love his pose,
fine DOF and framing, lovely luminosity of the image,
great sharpness and details of the bird and his plumage, TFS


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-04-21 23:11]

Hi Pekka

Lovely composition with very good detail and colour.



Hi Pekka , rare species and also difficult to take photo of this bird , good colors and shrpnss , TFS and good luck .

Great shot and note. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • RP1 Gold Star Critiquer [C: 154 W: 1 N: 6] (251)
  • [2008-04-24 15:39]

Hi Pekka,
Very great shot and beautiful colours and composition.

Hello Pekka,

Nice shot from these beautiful Green woodpecker.
Very good low pov and dof.


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