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Great spotted woodpecker. About blackbird-sized and striking black-and-white. It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring 'drumming' display. The male has a distinctive red patch on the back of the head and young birds have a red crown.

Great spotted woodpecker. About blackbird-sized and striking black-and-white. It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring 'drumming' display. The male has a distinctive red patch on the back of the head and young birds have a red crown.

As 2016 comes to an end, we look back at the most astonishing, beautiful and prolific National Geographic photos from this year.

As 2016 comes to an end, we look back at the most astonishing, beautiful and prolific National Geographic photos from this year.

Meniconzi Alessandra, Switzerland (Open Competition, Wildlife)

Meniconzi Alessandra, Switzerland (Open Competition, Wildlife)

Smithsonian just announced the finalists of their 14th Annual Photo Contest from over 48,000 submissions in 146 countries and territories

Smithsonian just announced the finalists of their 14th Annual Photo Contest from over 48,000 submissions in 146 countries and territories

27-memorial-maria-luisa-photography-awards announced. This photo contest is always of a very high level. So check our portal and get inspired!

27-memorial-maria-luisa-photography-awards announced. This photo contest is always of a very high level. So check our portal and get inspired!

A bioluminescent Hawaiian bobtail squid. (Credit: Mark R Smith, Macroscopic Solutions)

A bioluminescent Hawaiian bobtail squid. (Credit: Mark R Smith, Macroscopic Solutions)

Lost | Forgotten | Abandoned | Displaced | Decayed | Neglected | Discarded | Disrepair | The Wanderer - photo by Lais Dossin

Lost | Forgotten | Abandoned | Displaced | Decayed | Neglected | Discarded | Disrepair | The Wanderer - photo by Lais Dossin

Lion love  A 3-month-old lion cub snuggles up to its mother at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb., on March 29. The Omaha Zoo has announced the names of five African lion cubs selected through a contest on the group's Facebook page.

Lion love A 3-month-old lion cub snuggles up to its mother at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb., on March 29. The Omaha Zoo has announced the names of five African lion cubs selected through a contest on the group's Facebook page.

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