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The great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is a medium-sized woodpecker with pied black and white plumage and a red patch on the lower belly. Males and young birds also have red markings on the neck or head. This species is found across the Palearctic including parts of North Africa. Across most of its range it is resident, but in the north some will migrate if the conifer cone crop fails. Some individuals have a tendency to wander, leading to the recent recolonisation of Ireland and to vagrancy to North America. Great spotted woodpeckers chisel into trees to find food or excavate nest holes, and also drum for contact and territorial advertisement; they have anatomical adaptations to manage the physical stresses from the hammering action. This species is similar to the Syrian woodpecker. The great spotted woodpecker occurs in all types of woodlands and is catholic in its diet, being capable of extracting seeds from pine cones, insect larvae from inside trees or eggs and chicks of other birds from their nests. It breeds in holes excavated in living or dead trees, unlined apart from wood chips. The typical clutch is four to six glossy white eggs.