White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos)

White-backed Woodpecker

[order] PICIFORMES | [family] Picidae | [latin] Dendrocopos leucotos | [UK] White-backed Woodpecker | [FR] Pic a dos blanc | [DE] Weissruckenspecht | [ES] Pico dorsiblanco | [NL] Witrugspecht


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Dendrocopos leucotos EU widespread
Dendrocopos leucotos fohkiensis se China
Dendrocopos leucotos insularis Taiwan
Dendrocopos leucotos leucotos c and n Europe through central Russia to se Siberia and ne China
Dendrocopos leucotos lilfordi s Europe to the Caucasus
Dendrocopos leucotos namiyei s Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku (Japan)
Dendrocopos leucotos owstoni n Ryukyu Is. (Japan)
Dendrocopos leucotos quelpartensis Jeju-do (off South Korea)
Dendrocopos leucotos stejnegeri n Honshu (Japan)
Dendrocopos leucotos subcirris Hokkaido (Japan)
Dendrocopos leucotos takahashii Ullung-do (off South Korea)
Dendrocopos leucotos tangi wc China
Dendrocopos leucotos uralensis w Ural Mts. to Lake Baikal

Physical charateristics

The largest (L 25 cm) of the “pied” woodpeckers, has black back and shoulders. Rather long-billed, and long-necked woodpecker, with black upperparts boldly barred white over wings and usually completely white on lower back and rump, and white underparts copiously streaked.

Listen to the sound of White-backed Woodpecker

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/W/White-backed Woodpecker.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 38 cm wingspan max.: 40 cm
size min.: 24 cm size max.: 26 cm
incubation min.: 10 days incubation max.: 11 days
fledging min.: 24 days fledging max.: 11 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia : widespread


Occurs in broad-leaved, conifer, and mixed woodlands. Type of woodland preferred appears to be antithesis of that favoured by forestry managements, including a high proportion of decayed or fallen timber and slow cycle of natural regeneration, with much over-mature stock. Increasing spread of economic forestry seems unlikely to leave so much room for this species.


The nest is a hole in tree, usually in rotten wood. It is an excavated hole with an entrance hole height and width 56-69

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