Female Great Spotted Woodpeckers are slightly bigger than the males and since yesterday I showcased the Male, I thought I'd give you a close up of the female so that you can see the differences for yourself. Note the back of the head does not have a Red patch? That's the main difference between the 2. Males use this Red patch to display to other males but why is it on the back of the head and not the front? Well, if you think of their general activities, they are usually face forward on a tree trunk which means the back of the bird is viewed more than the front, which would explain why that Red patch is on the back so that other males can see how dominant they are. This also helps attract females on the scene and the larger, more vibrant the red patch, the more chance he has to mate with her. That said, the male has to do a lot more than that to impress a female and their drumming skills play a huge part in their success. It's not about speed, but about matching the frequency of the drum (log) by hitting the log at the right speed. For instance, they can knock at 10-40 beats per second but they need to match that to the frequency of the log so the log resonates fully. The more resonance, the more projection which will result in larger territories and more chance of keeping a female. Despite their back reputation for drilling nest boxes, I do really love Woodpeckers.