White-backed Woodpecker vs Great Spotted Woodpecker

posted in: birds, Morphology-Develop. | 0

As I mentioned, the White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos subcirris) and the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major japonicas) are very similar as first glance. Adult males can be distinguished by the extent of red in the crown – Great Spotted Woodpeckers having red only in the hind crown. But females and juveniles are more difficult. One good/quick feature in the field to look for is the black face bar – in the White-backed Woodpecker it does not reach the nape (or crown), in the Great Spotted Woodpecker it extends all the way up to the nape/back of the crown.

The composite I put together (above) to illustrate this is of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker (above, sorry no female images) and a female White-backed Woodpecker below.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: East Hokkaidō, Japan

Date: 5-11th June 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

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