The New International Encyclopædia/Beccafico
BECCAFICO, bĕk'kȧ-fē'kṓ (It. from beccare, to peck + fico, fig). An Italian name given in the south of Europe to various small and elegant warblers (Sylviidæ), used as table delicacies, and specifically to the olive-brown garden-warbler or pettychaps (Sylvia hortensis), migratory in England. It haunts the fig orchards and vineyards, and pecks holes in the rind of the ripening fruit, seeming to prefer to all others the variety of fig known in Italy as ‘fetifero.’ The damage done is slight, however, and some persons believe that in each instance the bird has found and removed an insect attacking the fruit. After fattening in the autunm upon this fruit their flesh becomes a dainty for the table, and they are shot for market in great numbers, though each affords hardly more than a mouthful of food. See Fig.