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Dendrocopos minor

Dendrocopos minor

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Piciformes
Familia: Picidae
Subfamilia: Picinae
Genus: Dendrocopos
Species: Dendrocopos minor
Subspecies: D. m. amurensis - D. m. buturlini - D. m. colchicus - D. m. comminutus - D. m. danfordi - D. m. heinrichi - D. m. hortorum - D. m. hyrcanus - D. m. immaculatus - D. m. kamtschatkensis - D. m. kemaensis - D. m. ledouci - D. m. minor - D. m. morgani - D. m. quadrifasciatus

Name

Dendrocopos minor (Linnaeus, 1758)

Reference

Systema Naturae ed.10 p.114

Vernacular names
Česky: Strakapoud malý
Dansk: Lille flagspætte
Deutsch: Kleinspecht
Ελληνικά: Νανοδρυοκολάπτης, Νανοτσικλιτάρα
English: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Esperanto: Malgranda buntpego
Հայերեն: Փայտփոր փոքր
Nederlands: Kleine bonte specht
日本語: コアカゲラ
Polski: Dzięciołek
Suomi: Pikkutikka
Svenska: Mindre hackspett

The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Picoides minor) is a member of the woodpecker family Picidae. It was previously assigned to the genus Dendrocopos (sometimes incorrectly spelt as Dendrocopus), and often still is, but it appears to be closer related to the Downy Woodpecker

The range of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is the Palearctic region, but several subspecies are recognised.

Description

From its small size and its habit of spending most of its time in the tops of tall trees in woods and parks, this little woodpecker is often overlooked, but if sighted on a trunk it may at once be identified by the broad barring on the wings and narrower bars across the lower back.

The male has a crimson crown, a brown forehead, a black superciliary stripe, and another from the base of the bill to the neck. The nape and upper back are black, but the lower back is barred with black and white. On the wings are broader and more conspicuous bars, and the outer tail feathers are also barred. The under parts are white with streaks on the flanks. The bill and legs are slate-grey.

In the female the crown is white, but the young birds of both sexes have more or less crimson on the head. There are no marked seasonal changes.

Ecology

Its habits are very similar to those of the Great Spotted Woodpecker, and it has the same stumpy appearance, almost triangular, when bounding from tree to tree. Its note is a repeated "keek", loud for so small a bird, and its vibrating rattle can with experience be distinguished from that of the larger species. This substitute for a song may be heard at all times, but most frequently when courtship begins early in the year.

Its insect food is similar to that of the Great Spotted Woodpecker. When hunting for wood-boring larvae it chips away at the rotten wood, and the litter at the foot of a tree is often the first indication that insects are attacking upper branches. From autumn to spring it hunts mainly on wood-living insect larvae, frequently from thin dead branches in living trees. Through the breeding season, surface-living insects from the foliage and bark of trees make up an increased amount of the diet. Nestlings are mainly fed with surface-living insects,such as aphids and larval insects. At night it roosts in old holes.

A litter of chips is also a guide to a nesting hole, for the bird does not always carry these away when excavating. The hole is usually at a considerable height above the ground and may be so high as 30 or 40 feet. It is a smaller burrow than that of the Great Spotted Woodpecker, measuring from 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

The shaft varies, the nesting cavity being often a foot or more below the entrance. Five to eight highly polished white eggs are laid upon wood dust and chips in the latter half of May, and a single brood is the rule. Both birds help to incubate. Occasionally an old or natural hollow is used or enlarged.

Populations of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are mostly resident, but can be nomadic to some degree. Annual fluctations in population numbers are common. The winter temperatures may exhibit a direct effect on winter survival of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers by heat loss, whereas weather conditions during spring have an indirect effect on breeding performance by affecting food production.

References

* Gorman, Gerard (2004): Woodpeckers of Europe: A Study of the European Picidae. Bruce Coleman, UK. ISBN 1 872842 05 4.
* BirdLife International (2004). Dendrocopos minor. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 10 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
* Steen R., Selås V. & Stenberg I. 2006. Impact of weather on annual fluctuations in breeding numbers of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor in Norway. Ardea 94(2): 225–231. (download article [1])

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