Green woodpecker on a stone (c) Paul Green

Green woodpecker

Green woodpeckers are the largest and most colourful woodpeckers native to Britain. They are easily recognised by their laughing ‘yaffle’ call, which they use to demarcate their territory. They also drum on trees, though the sound is not as resonant as that made by the other two British species (the greater and lesser spotted woodpeckers). Green woodpeckers survive on a diet of insects and have a particular fondness for ants. They return day after day to their favourite ant hill to feed.

Scientific name: Picus viridis

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Eurasian green woodpecker,
  • European green woodpecker,
  • Yaffle

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Map showing the distribution of the Green woodpecker taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Green woodpecker can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Green woodpecker distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Piciformes
  6. Woodpeckers
  7. Picus
  8. Green woodpecker

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