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Great Spotted Woodpecker

The male great spotted woodpecker is out head-banging this month.  You’ll notice him mainly in the early morning as he beats out a repetitive “rat-a-tat-tat” sound on a dead branch or tree trunk with his beak.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

This beak bashing is drummed out at up to 40 beats per second!  It’s a kind of woodpecker 'Morse code' only much faster.  They have strengthened skulls which help to cushion the impact.  The noise is telling other male woodpeckers to clear off, this is his space, and only interested female woodpeckers should approach.

More info at: UK Safari Great Spotted Woodpeckers Fact File

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