Bird Watching (UK) - - January Id Challenge -

Ah, an­other black-and-white wood­pecker, so surely an­other Den­dro­co­pos. Well, not nec­es­sar­ily. The first thing to note is that there is no red on this bird (in­clud­ing the un­der­tail). There are only two black-and-white Euro­pean wood­peck­ers which lack red: the fe­male Lesser Spot­ted Wood­pecker and the Three-toed Wood­pecker (genus Pi­coides). The shoul­ders and back are largely black (lack­ing white bar­ring) apart from an ob­vi­ous white puffy cen­tre to the back and some fine mark­ings on the wings. The dark ear coverts (‘cheeks’) con­firm that this is a Three-toed Wood­pecker, and the white back means it is a north­ern bird.

KEY FEA­TURES †Largely black up­per­parts †Uniquely dark cheeks and ‘stripy’ face †No red in plumage †White back points to north­ern sub­species tri­dacty­lus

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