For North Americans familiar with flickers, the Green Woodpecker is the Western Palearctic ecological counterpart—a ground-feeder of about the same size that specializes on ants, also consuming other terrestrial invertebrates and a certain amount of fruit it finds on the ground and in trees. The Green Woodpecker is found from Britain east to Iran, in areas with open ground that harbor plentiful ants and with trees used for nesting and roosting. Unlike flickers, it has a few sympatric congeners as well as a few other woodpeckers that share this diet to varying degrees, but are of different sizes, so there is little direct competition.

Gerard Gorman has written several books on woodpeckers and has studied this species for many years. His book is a model of thoroughness for a species monograph, covering origins and taxonomy, anatomy and morphology, distribution, population trends, molt, and all aspects of behavior and ecology, as...

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