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Woodpeckers are fascinating birds, filling our forests with their unmistakable drumming, and capturing our imaginations with their incredible ability to drill holes in trees and their bright, colourful plumage.
Three species of woodpecker are resident in the UK: the Green Woodpecker, often seen on lawns and in fields; the Great Spotted Woodpecker, a frequent visitor at garden birdfeeders; and the tiny Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, sadly now in decline. The Wryneck – which twists its neck 'like a snake' when threatened – also passes through the UK on its yearly migration and has captivated people throughout the ages. Gerard Gorman provides a close-up look at the lives of these birds, from their anatomy, diet and nesting habits to their iconic drumming behaviour. He also explores the relationship that humans have enjoyed with woodpeckers for centuries, in folklore, myth and conservation, and gives tips on how to observe these wonderful birds in the wild.
Gerard Gorman is an expert naturalist and author based in Hungary. He is widely regarded as Eastern Europe's most accomplished birding guide and is the author of seven books, including Woodpeckers of Europe (2004) and Woodpeckers of the World (2014).
"The latest book in the RSPB Spotlight series is another excellent guide. The book is packed with interesting, easily digested facts, all presented in a clear concise manner each chapter making you as hungry for more as would the gorgeously arranged larder for the Acorn Woodpecker. [...] A must for libraries and for schools, particularly those preparing wildlife projects for students."
– Patricia Owen, Ibis 161(4), October 2019
"[...] While a summary of those species present in Europe might have been a useful addition for birders holidaying close to home, the author does have more comprehensive books on woodpeckers available which are also excellent. The book is thoroughly recommended and should provide good motivation to head off to your local woods or parklands in search of British members of the woodpecker family, or even further afield in search of more exotic ‘peckers."
– David Jarrett, BTO book reviews