The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) is a member of the woodpecker order and has a variegated black and white plumage. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is considered the smallest species of woodpecker in Europe. The body size of this bird ranges from 13 to 16 centimeters in length, and the weight reaches a maximum of 22 grams. The wingspan of birds can reach 30 centimeters. A distinctive feature is the lack of red in the area of the subsidiary. Males have a characteristic red color on the top of the head with a black edging, while in females the forehead and front region of the crown are painted only in white. The tail has a hard plumage. Small longitudinal stripes are visible on the sides. The lower part of the body is off-white. The iris is brown with a reddish tint.
The population of the small spotted woodpecker has spread on the northern side of the Palearctic in the territory from the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Inhabited this species and the European region of Eurasia. Chooses mixed and deciduous forests as habitat, preferring softwood stands. May inhabit some parks and gardens. Unlike other woodpeckers, it is quite common in sparse woodlands.
In nutrition, it prefers insects, which are mined in crevices of tree bark. It can be suspended on tree branches to get insects. Lesser spotted woodpecker destroys up to 72 species of insects. During the nesting period, openly living insects are selected. And after the nesting period, it begins to look for larvae of barbels and bark beetles, which it collects under the bark or in thin branches of shrubs. In order to get food, he hollows out the bark of various trees. But most often he prefers to collect caterpillars, beetles or ants.
As a rule, the breeding season of small spotted woodpeckers begins in April, when you can hear the sonorous trill of males. The arrangement of the nest for the offspring is done by the male and the female. As nests, they choose the hollow of an old tree, which they hollow out with their beak. Prefer to settle at a height of up to 7 meters. Birch, aspen and alder are preferred as trees. And for the litter of the hollow, only wood dust is used. As a rule, the female bears from 3 to 6 eggs. Eggs appear white and shiny. Egg masonry occurs in April or May. No more than one brood per year. It is noteworthy that both the male and the female are engaged in incubation. The male does this mainly at night for 14 days.
Little chicks are born in May or June. Cubs grow stronger within three weeks of life, and then can leave the territory of their parents. During the period when the chicks are not yet strong, the female, together with the male, is actively engaged in the extraction of food for herself and her offspring.
Lesser spotted woodpeckers are predominantly resident birds. In order to designate their territory, they use the sound “shot”. Some individuals prefer to be high in the crowns of trees. With the onset of cold weather, birds often organize in flocks with other representatives of tits and pikas. The voice of small spotted woodpeckers is very shrill and a little disturbing.