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Green Woodpecker

The green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain. 

It has a heavy-looking body, short tail and a strong, long bill. 

It is green on its upper parts with a paler belly, bright yellow rump and red on the top of its head. 

Males have a black 'moustache' with a red centre. 

They have an undulating flight and a loud, laughing call.

Green woodpeckers spend most of their time feeding on the ground. 

Look out for them on your garden lawn or in parks. Short grass provides good feeding opportunities for them. 

Like other woodpeckers, these birds breed in holes they peck in dead wood. 

They can be seen in England, Wales and Scotland, though they're absent from the far north and west and Ireland.

Green woodpeckers survive on a diet of insects and have a particular fondness for ants. 

They return day after day to their favourite ant hill to feed.

They use their strong beak to dig into ant colonies and eat the inhabitants.

The tongue of the Green Woodpecker is 10cm long and it has to be curled round its skull. 

The tongue, which is armed with barbs at the end is used for extracting ants. 

The Average Lifespan is 5 years, the oldest known bird, 7 years 4 months.

Both male and female share the incubation of the eggs, which takes 17-19 days, and they both feed the young for about 19 days. 

When the brood leaves the nest the parents may split up, each caring for 3 or 4 youngsters until they can fend for themselves. 

The young woodpeckers can fly within three or four weeks after hatching and they are capable of breeding at a year old.


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