Birding and Wildlife Guides and Tours in Eastern Europe

from the Baltic to the Balkans... and beyond.


Woodpeckers are charismatic birds and ProBirder has a fondness for the family.


One of the things that sets us apart from others is our knowledge of forest birds such as owls and particularly woodpeckers. Indeed, lead guide Gerard Gorman is a renowned woodpecker aficionado, who has travelled the world to observe, study, sound record and photograph the Picidae. He is author of Woodpeckers of Europe: a study of the European Picidae (Bruce Coleman), The Black Woodpecker: a monograph on Dryocopus martius (Lynx Edicions), Woodpecker (Reaktion), Woodpeckers (Bloomsbury) and Woodpeckers of the World: the Complete Guide (Helm/Bloomsbury). As well as the familiar “true” woodpeckers, the latter work also includes the unusual wrynecks, the tiny piculets, sapsuckers, flickers and the flamboyant flamebacks.


Central and Eastern Europe is home to 10 wonderful woodpecker species - Black, Eurasian Green, Grey-headed, Great Spotted, Syrian, Middle Spotted, White-backed, Lesser Spotted, Eurasian Three-toed and Wryneck - and we know where they are and how to find them.


Join the ProBirder team to see them all.

Further reading: here is a selection of articles and papers on woodpeckers by yours truly...

• Gorman, G. (1995): Identifying the presence of woodpecker

    (Picidae) species on the basis of their holes and signs.

    Aquila 102: 61–67.


•  Gorman, G. (1996): Identification du Pic syriaque (Dendrocopos syriacus) et répartition en Europe.

      Ornithos: 3.4.


 • Gorman, G. (1997): Balkanspetten sprider sig norrut i Europa.

     Var Fagelvarld: 5.


• Gorman, G. (1997): Get tracking.

     Birdwatch 60: 25-29.


  • Gorman, G. (1998): The Rot Sets In (White-backed Woodpecker).

      Birdwatch: 77.


 • Gorman, G. (1998): The spread of Black Woodpecker in Europe –   will it reach Britain next?

       Birding World 11: 390-395.


 • Gorman, G. (1998): Syrian Woodpecker using wall crevice as “anvil”.

      British Birds 91: 378.


 • Gorman, G. (1999): Pecking order.

      Birdwatch 81: 27-30.


 • Gorman, G. (1998): The identification of Syrian Woodpecker.

      Alula 5: 82-88.


 • Gorman, G. (2000): Black-and-white lookalikes.

      Birdwatch 97: 26-30.


 • Gorman, G. (2004): Drum major (White-backed Woodpecker ID).

      Birdwatch: 145.


 • Gorman, G. (2004): Three-toed Woodpecker – species, races and clines.

      Birding World 17: 209–220.


 • Gorman, G. (2004): Woodpecker Nest Holes.

       Alula 10: 122-125.


 • Gorman, G. (2004): Zen and the art of woodpeckering.

      Birds Illustrated 2.1: 6-12.


 • Gorman, G. (2010): The Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) feeding on a dead Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

      Crex 30: 159-160.


• Gorman, G. (2010): A Forest Friendly Society.

      Bird Art & Photography 2: 18-23.


 • Gorman, G. (2010): Black Woodpecker excavating a cavity in autumn.

      British Birds 103: 411.


 • Gorman, G. (2010): Green Woodpecker excavating a cavity in autumn.

      British Birds 104: 276.


 • Gorman, G. (2011): Woodpecker royalty.

      Birdwatch 228: 30-33.


• Gorman, G. (2011): Marks on the iris of the Black Woodpecker.

      British Birds 104: 95-96.


 • Gorman, G. (2011): In Search of Malaysia's Woodpeckers.

      Suara Enggang 19: 20-24.


 • Gorman, G. (2015): Europe's new endemic.

      Birdwatch 281: 58-60.


 • Gorman, G. (2016): Foraging signs and cavities of some European woodpeckers (Picidae):  Identifying the clues that

     lead to establishing the presence of species.

     Pp. 87-97 in H. Winkler, ed. Developments in Woodpecker Biology

     (Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz).


• Gorman, G. (2018): Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus) feeding mulberries (Morus nigra) to fledglings.

     Aquila 125: 95–96.


• Gorman, G.(2019): Characteristics of Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) cavities in Hungary.

     Aquila 126: 33–39.


• Gorman, G. (2019): Flamebacks.

     Bird Watching (Autumn issue): 33–37.

Images and text © 2016 Gerard Gorman/ProBirder™. All rights reserved.