Our December 2015 issue included the beautiful and fascinating article above, by Irish birder Iva Pocock. It tells the story of Great Spotted Woodpecker, the first species of woodpecker ever to nest on the Emerald Isle. When the bird was found breeding there in 2009, it was a cause for celebration, and the number of nests has increased steadily ever since.
Woodpeckers may have been newcomers to Ireland, but they’ve long been well known across the Irish Sea in Britain. Great Spotted, Green, and Lesser Spotted all breed there, and six additional woodpeckers are found in mainland Europe (Grey-headed, Black, Syrian, Middle Spotted, White-backed, and Three-toed). Eurasian Wryneck, another member of the Picidae, is also present.
As a special accompaniment to Pocock’s article, we assembled photos of all 10 species below. Special thanks to the photographers for sharing their images on Wikimedia Commons.