Mixed pairs and hybrids of Syrian and Great Spotted Woodpeckers

Syrian Woodpecker x Great Spotted Woodpecker hybridDendrocopos major x Dendrocopos syriacus). Photo by Evgenij Perevedentsev

On behalf of the coordinators Łukasz Kajtoch and Łukasz Wardecki, we invite you to participate in a scientific project related to mixed pairs and hybrids of Syrian and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. The aim is to collect information about the extent of hybridization between Syrian and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and the ecology of hybrids in urban and rural populations.

It is worth noting that the main range of the Syrian Woodpecker in the country (the entire Małopolska region and the southern part of Lubelskie and Kielce regions) is located in the area of the Małopolska Ornithological Society's activities! Therefore, the activity and involvement of observers from our region can contribute to a better and more comprehensive understanding of hybridization in these two woodpecker species!

Methodological outline:
  • a system of transects located in areas of actual or potential occurrence of Syrian Woodpeckers,
  • 2 or 3 controls during the season (March to June) - searching for and identifying birds, collecting documentation (photos, recordings, etc.).
Expected outcomes:
  • Determining the scale of mixed pairs and hybrids in Poland and Europe, in rural and urban environments.
  • Collecting data to enable scientific research on the issue of woodpecker hybridization.
  • Establishing a foundation for monitoring the populations of Syrian Woodpeckers and hybrids.
  • Determining the extent to which hybridization may be a problem for the conservation of Syrian Woodpeckers.

If you are interested in participating and would like to learn more, it's worth visiting the project's website or contacting the coordinators:

Łukasz Kajtoch
Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow


Łukasz Wardecki
The Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (OTOP)
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