Black Woodpecker(redirected from Dryocopus martius)
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(Dryocopus martius), a bird of the family Picidae. Approximately the size of a crow (up to 50 cm in length), the black woodpecker has black plumage and a red head. Its straight, brightly colored bill is powerful and has a chisel-shaped point. A sedentary species, the black woodpecker nests in tree hollows that it gouges out itself. There are three to five glossy, white-shelled eggs in a clutch. The bird inhabits the coniferous forests of Europe and Asia. It obtains its food (insects and their larvae) by hollowing out the bark and wood of trees, particularly of tree stumps. The bird is useful since it destroys insects that are forest pests. However, in their search for large ants (Camponotus) that live in the rotting heartwood of tree trunks, black woodpeckers sometimes damage fresh spruce timber by gouging out deep holes.