DRUM­MING

Bird Watching (UK) - - January Id Challenge -

With the ex­cep­tion of the Green Wood­pecker and the anoma­lous Wry­neck, all the Euro­pean wood­peck­ers reg­u­larly ‘drum’. Drum­ming is the high speed rat­tling peck­ing of a res­o­nant sur­face, used as a dis­play sound. Luck­ily, in wood­land where it is usu­ally dif­fi­cult to see any birds, wood­pecker drums are far-car­ry­ing and pretty dis­tinc­tive, once learned. The loud­est and most ex­treme of the Euro­pean wood­pecker drums is that of the Black Wood­pecker; the loud ‘ma­chine gun’ drums can ap­par­ently be heard up to 2.5 miles away. Lesser Spot­teds have a very even ex­tended ‘rat­tle’ last­ing up to two sec­onds, while White-backed Wood­peck­ers have a sim­i­larly long drum which starts slowly then ac­cel­er­ates to­wards the end. Check out the dif­fer­ent sounds (drums and calls) on the won­der­ful re­source that is xeno-canto.org/

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