[order] Piciformes | [family] Picidae | [latin] Picus canus | [UK] Grey-Faced Woodpecker | [FR] Pic cendré | [DE] Grauspecht | [ES] Pito Cano | [IT] Picchio cenerino | [NL] Grijskopspecht

Grijskopspecht determination

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Medium-sized woodpecker, with basic plumage colours and pattern recalling Green Woodpecker but differing distinctly in lighter flight, greater agility, dark eye, largely grey, less marked head (only red forecrown in male and only narrow black moustache in both sexes), and greyer underparts.

Resident, subject to local seasonal movements, predominantly in temperate and marginally in warm boreal zone of west Palearctic, largely overlapping with Green Woodpecker, but differing somewhat in more continental and generally more upland and montane distribution, although nature and extent of competition for habitat remain obscure. In lowlands appears content with smaller woodlands than Green Woodpecker, and favours moist carrs or trees fringing rivers, even where old timber infrequent: also occurs in open woods of beech, oak, or hornbeam. Rarely above 600 m in central Europe, but in some regions ascends above 1000 m and locally, especially after breeding season, even slightly above 2000 m, particularly among larches where ant populations are high

Picus canus is a widespread resident across much of continental Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global range. Its European breeding population is large (>180,000 pairs), but underwent a moderate decline between 1970-1990. Although the species was stable overall during 1990-2000—with stable or increasing trends across most of its European range—its population has clearly not yet recovered to the level that preceded its decline. Consequently, it is provisionally evaluated as Depleted.
This woodpecker has a wide distribution in boreal and temperate regions of Eurasia, from France to Japan. It inhabits mainly deciduous forests, quite open mixed forests and mountain forests, but also city parks, orchards and gardens. The population of the European Union is estimated at 20000-25000 breeding pairs. In many regions it has declined following intensification of forestry

Diet similar to Green Woodpecker but more varied, with less specialization on ants. Shorter tongue and differences in leg length, leg musculature, and tail length indicate feeding ecology more like Dendrocopos woodpeckers. Forages chiefly on ground but also commonly on low trees and buildings and at cracks on walls, rock faces, etc.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km˛. It has a large global population, including an estimated 360,000-640,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified; there is evidence of a population decline (del Hoyo et al. 2002), but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Egg laying in Central Europe, southern Scandinavia, and western Russia in second half of April. One brood only. Nest site is a hole in tree, mainly in aspen, beech, oak, and lime; also in willow and pine. Nest is an excavated hole, average diameter 5.7 cm; no material added but wood chips left. Clutch size 7-9 incubated foir 14-15 days, young fledge after 24-28 days.

Resident. Some dispersal occurs within breeding range, but extends beyond it to small (irregular) extent only