Rare woodpeckers turn out in large numbers

Birdwatchers in 2019 spotted the second-largest number of rare woodpeckers recorded so far in Finland.

Sightings of Eurasian three-toed woodpeckers came in at 628 migration reports, and 579 endangered white-backed woodpeckers were also spotted, according to observation database Tiira.

The record-breaking year for white-backed woodpeckers was in 2015, when watchers tallied 885 individuals. As many as 1,600 three-toed woodpeckers were spotted in 2008. The sighting records in the Tiira database begin in 2006.

“There have been three good years for migration in the past 14 years,” BirdLife Finland conservation expert Petri Lampila said. “Only some dozens of woodpeckers make the journey to Finland on off years, so this year’s figures are a good sign.”