[order] Piciformes | [family] Picidae | [latin] Picoides tridactylus | [UK] Three-Toed Woodpecker | [FR] Pic tridactyle | [DE] Dreizehenspecht | [ES] Pico trídactilo | [IT] Picchio tridattilo | [NL] Drieteenspecht

Drieteenspecht determination

copyright: youtube

Medium-sized woodpecker with black-and-white barred upperparts, black head, yellow crown, white eye-line, throat, breast, and belly, and diagonally barred white flanks. Wings are black with white spots; rump is black; tail is black with white outer feathers. Female lacks yellow crown.

Resident in continental west Palearctic, occupying 2 distinct habitat groups: 1st in high and upper middle latitudes, largely lowland; 2nd in mid-latitudes in mountains between 650 m and 1900 m in central Europe. In 1st, boreal/arctic, largely in dense coniferous forests (taiga), with preference for shady, damp, sometimes swampy patches, and areas with much dead wood resulting from fire, lumbering, or windthrow. In 2nd group, mid-latitude subalpine habitat in Switzerland consists of steep inaccessible slopes, often dominated by old spruce. Nest-site usually in more open part even of dark closed forest, perhaps created by avalanche, windthrow, or other disturbance, which often goes with higher ratio of decayed or fallen timber. Occurrences also sometimes recorded in separated tree-stands with little fallen timber.

Picoides tridactylus is a resident in northern and parts of central Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global range. Its European breeding population is large (>350,000 pairs), but underwent a moderate decline between 1970-1990. Although declines continued in a few countries during 1990-2000, the species was stable across most of its European range (the trend in its Russian stronghold was unknown). Nevertheless, its total population size probably remains below the level that preceded its decline, and consequently the species is provisionally evaluated as Depleted.
This woodpecker is mainly a taiga bird with a wide distribution in the boreal regions of northern Eurasia and North America. It has also isolated populations in the mountain forests of central and south-eastern Europe. It inhabits mainly coniferous forests but also mixed forests and birch forest (Betula). Following in-depth changes of forestry practices, this species has undergone a strong decrease. Currently its populations seem stable, however. The population of the European Union (12 Member States) amounts to only a few dozen breeding pairs and remains marginal, compared to the total European population which is estimated at 56000 pairs, the Russian populations not included

Eats larvae of tree-dwelling insects, spiders, some berries, and bark cambium; female forages higher than male.

Picoides tridactylus has a large range across boreal Eurasia, with isolated resident populations in mountains to the south, including the Alps, Altai, and Tien Shan. The estimated global Extent of Occurrence is >10,000,000 km2. It inhabits mature conifer forests, particularly spruce Picea spp., and is somewhat irruptive, being found commonly where disturbance such as fire has caused local outbreaks of insects4. It is presumed to have a large global population, corresponding to its range. Large-scale commercial logging and modern forestry management practices, including fire suppression and removal of dead or insect-infested trees, have led to declines of American Three-toed Woodpecker P. dorsalis2,3, and are also likely to have led to declines of this species. Although declines occurred in parts of its European range from 1970-2000, it has been stable across much of its European range from 1990-20001. Globally it 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]

Three to six white eggs are laid in a nest made of bark chips built in a dead tree cavity, usually up to 45 feet above the ground; conifers and aspens are most frequently used. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by both parents.

Resident and dispersive; eruptive to limited extent. To some extent nomadic in winter in Russia, where recorded as far south as Kaluga, Tula, and Voronezh. In small-scale Scandinavian eruptions, mid-September to mid-November, a few individuals reach south-west Norway and southern Sweden, beyond breeding range, and have (exceptionally) even reached Denmark and Germany. Upland populations of central Europe are sedentary, even in severe winters.