Sound and vision blog

06 February 2013

British Bird of the Month: Green Woodpecker

Cheryl Tipp, Natural Sounds Curator, writes:

Yaffler, Yaffingale, Laughing Bird and Yuckel are just a few of the names that the Green Woodpecker, Picus viridis, goes by. All refer to its distinctive laughing song which can often be heard ringing through deciduous woods, heaths, parks and farmland across England, Wales and much of Scotland. It is easily the largest of the British woodpeckers, sitting somewhere between a Blackbird and a pigeon, and is instantly recognisable thanks to a bright red crown and vivid green upperparts.

Green Woodpecker_electrographica

Many recordings of this species exist in the British Library. The recording featured here was made by William Pedley during the spring of 1973 in Northamptonshire, England and perfectly demonstrates the yaffle song. It just one of several hundred wildlife and environmental recordings from around the world that make up Listen to Nature.

http://sounds.bl.uk/Environment/Listen-to-Nature/022M-LISTNAT00182-0001V0

I could have ended this post with a description of the Green Woodpecker's breeding habits or dietry preferences. I chose instead to share this interesting little factoid: did you know the Green Woodpecker's tongue is so long that it has to curl it over the top of its skull? Me neither!

(Image courtesy of Electrographica)

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