Great spotted woodpecker male bird, perched on a branch in garden

Attract great spotted woodpeckers

Great spotted woodpeckers have become common visitors to gardens all over most of the British Isles, with the exception of Ireland (where there are only small numbers of woodpeckers).

In your garden

They will happily tuck in at feeders containing peanuts, sunflower seeds and fat, and sometimes peck at apples in search of grubs inside. In late spring, adult woodpeckers often bring their offspring to feeders. 

Leaving dead trees standing where they are will mean a supply of wood-boring grubs and other bugs, great spotted woodpeckers' principal food source.

It is good to be aware that great spotted woodpeckers will sometimes attack nestboxes containing eggs and chicks. You can help prevent this by fitting a metal hole surround, available from the RSPB Shop.

It's important to keep your nestbox clean. For some useful tips, visit our cleaning nestboxes page.