Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos minor


The smallest and least common of the three woodpeckers that are resident in Britain. Apart from its tiny size (it is about the size of a House Sparrow) you can easily recognise one because its upperparts are crossed with numerous narrow white bars instead of the big white patches of the Great Spotted Woodpecker. The male is distinguished from the female by its bright red crown.

Identification difficulty

Open woods, copses, parkland, gardens and orchards, but it tends to frequent the tops of trees, searching for larvae, spiders and wood-boring insects on smaller branches

When to see it

In spring when it is active and there are not too many leaves on the trees, and when it is likely to call and drum

UK Status

Resident breeder with 2,000 breeding pairs. Absent from Scotland and Ireland

VC55 Status

Uncommon resident breeder in decline

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map