Pica-pau-malhado-grande © Diogo Oliveira

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos major

The great spotted woodpecker is the Picidae family representative more widely distributed in the Palearctic Region. In Portugal it is associated with several forest patches and riparian forest, also frequenting urban parks with some dimension.

The scientific name of the species derives from its typical habits: Dendrocopos is a term that results from Greek words dendro (tree) and kopos/koptos (cut, hit); the restrictive major alludes to the fact that it is the greatest representatives of this genus.

Despite the significance of genus (“to hit the trees”), Woodpeckers play an important protection service by consuming insects that may constitute forest pests.

Text: João E. Rabaça

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