Zoological Illustrations/VolI-Pl14

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Zoological Illustrations
by William Swainson
Vol I. Pl. 14. Picus rubiginosus. Brown Woodpecker.
Zoological Illustrations Volume I Plate 14.jpg

PICUS rubiginosus.

Brown Woodpecker.

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Generic Character.

Rostrum polyedrum, rectum, in apicem compressum, cuneatum, attenuatum. Nares basales, ovales, patulæ, plumis angustis recumbentibus tectæ. Lingua longissima, jaculatoria, apice sagittato. Cauda rectricibus validis, rigidis, acuminatis, 10, intermediis duabus longioribus. Pedes scansorii.

Typus Genericus Picus viridis.

Bill many-sided, straight, the tip resembling a compressed pointed wedge. Nostrils basal, oval, open, covered externally with narrow recumbent feathers. Tongue very long, retractile, the tip barbed. Tail-feathers ten, strong, rigid, acuminated; the two middle ones longest. Feet climbing.

Generic Type Picus viridis.


Specific Character.

P. suprà rubiginosus: vertice nigrescente; occipite rubro, subtùs fulvo, fusco-fasciato.
Above tawny rufous. Crown blackish; hind head crimson, beneath fulvous, with brown transverse bands.
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The Woodpeckers form a most natural family of birds, and are dispersed in every part of the known world, excepting the Polar regions. Eight species inhabit Europe, five of which are found in our own country. The largest however of these, the Great Black Woodpecker, is very rare; and even the others are less frequently seen than formerly, from the gradual diminution of our few remaining forests.

The present appears an undescribed species, and was sent from the Spanish Main to E. Falkner, Esq. of Fairfield. I have since seen the male, which, like many others of this genus, is distinguished by a patch of red below the eye.

Total length, eight inches and a half; bill one inch long, blackish; front and crown cinereous black; the hind head and nape crimson; a dusky whitish line (beginning at the nostrils) includes the eye and ear-feathers; below this on each side blackish, with longitudinal whitish dots, which in the male is mixed near the bill with crimson; chin blackish, speckled with white. The general plumage above is uniform tawny rufous brown, becoming more olive on the rump. Under parts olivaceous yellow, crossed with numerous close bands of blackish brown. Quills with the inner web black, the margin pale yellow; shafts and outer web tawny; tail the same, the shafts and outer half black, excepting the last pair, which have yellowish shafts and dusky tips. Wings inside, pale orange. Legs and claws dusky green.

Two or three other individuals have since fallen under my observation: the male I saw at Mr. Leadbeater's, Animal Preserver, in Brewer-street, of whose liberality and integrity in every way, I can bear the most unqualified and cheerful testimony.