Body length: 45-55 cm
Wingspan: 65-68 cm
Body mass: 230-350 g
Appearance: the only very large all-black woodpecker, though with red on head that is a full cap in the male and a nape-patch only in the female.
Forest-dweller in lowland, upland and mountain forests of Poland, though nowhere very common. Tree-hole nests have entrances 10 cm or so wide, and are mainly in pines. Broadleaved forest not avoided, but only rarely present in spruce. Nest-holes reaching 50 cm in depth often taken over later by stock doves, tawny owls and even martens. Feeds, not only on insect grubs extracted from beneath bark, but also on ants (whose hills it pecks into in winter). Bill extremely powerful, and spring ”drumming” on hollow trees resonates far and wide across forest. Resident species.
Descriptions drawing on content of Ptaki Polski (“Birds of Poland”) - a book authored by Andrzej G. Kruszewicz, and published by MULTICO Oficyna Wydawnicza Sp. z o.o.