New project: Great spotted woodpecker

I mentioned in my last post that I collected a woodpecker at the weekend.

I got a call from a friend who works at a local vets to say that a woodpecker that had been brought in had died and did I want it. It’s not everyday you come across a dead woodpecker so of course I said yes.

The bird was in great condition (apart from being dead) and the plumage was amazing!

This particular bird is a male Great spotted woodpecker. They are year long residents of England and Wales and are often found in wooded areas as well as gardens and parks. More information can be found on the RSPB website: www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/greatspottedwoodpecker/index.aspx

The design of the bird was incredible, the beak is huge and thick and the talons are long and hooked for grasping tree bark.

As this bird had been dead a few days and the weather was terrible I decided not to pluck the feathers out. I buried the woodpecker in a large pot of soil with woodlice, worms and other insects and placed the pot in a sunny place in the garden. I ‘fox proofed’ the pot by placing a tub over the container and stood a large potted tree on top of this. I’ll check back in a years time…

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