In his letter on the hybridisation of Ruddy Ducks Oxyura jamaicensis and Whiteheaded Ducks O. leucocephala, Dr David Harper {Brit. Birds 90: 325-327) unfortunately chose to refer to the expansion into Europe of Syrian Woodpeckers Dendrocopos syriacus in order to broaden the scope of the Oxyura argument. He stated that Syrian Woodpeckers 'initially hybridised with Great Spotted Woodpeckers D. major,

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