Lesser spotted woodpecker

    Lesser spotted woodpecker

    Dendrocopos minor

Castilian: Pico menor

Catalan: Picot garser petit

Gallego: Peto pequeno

Euskera: Okil txikia


Orden: Piciformes

Family: Picidae

Migratory status: Permanent resident


On the National List of Threatened Species, it appears in the “Of Special Interest” category. In the 2004 edition of the Red Book of Spanish Birds (Libro Rojo de las Aves de España) it is listed as “Not Evaluated”.


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listen song


The main problem lies in the loss of habitat due to the substitution of native trees with conifers and eucalyptus trees, although the loss of broods and the lack of food due to the elimination of old and fallen tree trunks is also significant.

Length / size: 14-16 cm / 24-29 cm

Identification: It is the smallest wryneck in Europe, no larger than a finch, whose body is pudgy and whose bill is short and slightly pointed upward. Its back is white and black, its belly is cream-coloured and slightly speckled toward its flanks. It has a black stripe on its neck, and the crown is red in males and dirty white in females.

Song: Its song is similar to that of other woodpeckers, but higher-pitched and faster, "keek-keek-keek".

Diet: It feeds almost exclusively on larvae and adult xylophagous beetles that it finds under the tree bark; its diet sometimes includes fruits and food from artificial birdfeeders.

Reproduction: The mating period, which does not last very long, begins in May with the male's call, which involved tapping sounds throughout the entire area, and then he later exhibits himself by stretching out his wings and lifting his head. When the pair has been formed, they both drill a hole in a tree where they can lay the eggs; they both also are responsible for incubation and caring for the chicks.


It occupies a wide variety of forests, from oaks to chestnuts, Portuguese oaks and holm oaks, riverside forests such as ash, alder and poplar groves, etc. The highest altitude at which it is found is 1,400 metres.


In Spain: It is distributed in three principal concentrations: in the north, in Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarre and the high Ebro Valley; another in Catalonia; and a third one in Cáceres, Salamanca and Ávila.

In Castile and León: It is most common in the Cantabrian Mountains, the meadows of the River Duero (Zamora) and the mountains of Francia, Candelario-Béjar and Gata (Salamanca), Gredos and Ávila (Ávila), Moncayo (Soria), La Demanda and Neila (Burgos).

Movements and migrations: Only the northernmost populations make some short movements.


In Spain: There is an estimated population of 5000 breeding pairs.

In Castile and León: