Lead poisoning was demonstrated in two gray-headed woodpeckers (Picus canus) and one white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopus leucotos) in Sweden; they had liver lead levels between 9.4 and 26.2 mg−1 wet weight. At necropsy one gray-headed woodpecker showed signs of emaciation and the other one had severe traumatic injuries, caused by a cat. The white-backed woodpecker died in the transportation box during a translocation program. The source of the lead could not be determined, but it was suspected that it may have originated from lead pellets shot into trees and picked out by the woodpeckers during food search.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4