Atlas of nesting birds in Bulgaria

Black Woodpecker

(Dryocopos martius)

Category of conservation concern (IUCN, 2020) – Least Concern

Population size: 2020: 2 177 – 3 137 pairs (2007: 1 500 – 3 500 pairs)

Distribution pattern

Patchy distribution in the forested mountain areas of the country – the Rila-Rhodope Massif, Stara Planina, Sredna Gora, Vitosha and the surrounding mountains, Strandzha and others. Dispersed or grouped in neighbouring squares in plains with forests (Ludogorie, Dobrudzha, the banks of the Danube River and some parts of the Danubian Plain, the Thracian Plain, etc.).

Population estimation for the period 2013 – 2020: During the period 2013-2020, the species was found in 798 squares, keeping its distribution in the main breeding habitats. New localities of single pairs have been established, mainly in the Danubian Plain and in the eastern part of the Thracian Plain.

Population size in Special Protection Areas of Natura 2000: 1 330 – 1 727 pairs (61% of the population). The highest numbers have been registered in the SPAs “Dobrostan” (167-183 pairs), “Western Rhodopes” (157-185 pairs), “Central Balkan” (87-97 pairs), “Strandzha” (68-103 pairs) and “Sredna Gora” (65-90 pairs).

Big size map

Breeding distribution 2013 – 2020 – The distribution and the estimation of the population size of the species for the period 2013 – 2020 is presented –

Comparative distribution of the species compared to the first breeding birds atlas (Iankov, 2007): Breeding locality until 2007 | Breeding locality until 2007, confirmed after 2015 – | New breeding locality after 2015. – The breeding localities after 2015 are identified on a base of raw data from


Breeds in primary broad-leaved deciduous forests, coniferous forests, mixed forests, and in alluvial and riverine forests and brush. Rarely in old public parks and large gardens (especially such of forest type), and in coastal belts.

Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020

Short-term trend of population size:


Long-term trend of population size:


Short-term trend of distribution:


Long-term trend of distribution:



Forestry felling, including sanitation cutting, also practiced in Protected Areas. Construction of new and expansion of existing ski resorts. Forest fires.

Irina Kostadinova, Petar Shurulinkov