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Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/173

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145
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER

in the following manner. As soon as the Red-heads have begun to visit a Cherry or Apple tree, a pole is placed along the trunk of the tree, passing up amongst the central branches, and extending six or seven feet beyond the highest twigs. The Woodpeckers alight by preference on the pole, and while their body is close to it, a man standing at the foot of the pole gives it a smart blow with the head of an axe, on the opposite side to that on which the Woodpecker is, when, in consequence of the sudden and violent vibration produced in the upper part, the bird is thrown off dead.


Picus erythrocephalus, Linn. Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 174.—Lath. Ind. Ornith. vol. i. p. 227.—Ch. Bonaparte, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 45.

Red-headed Woodpecker, Picus erythrocephalus, Wilson, Amer. Ornith. vol. i. p. 142. PI. ix. fig. i.—Lath. Synops. voL ii. p. 561.}


Adult Male. Plate XXVII. Fig. 1.

Bill longish, straight, strong, compressed toward the tip, which is vertically acute; upper mandible with the dorsal outline nearly straight, the edges acute and overlapping; under mandible with acute, slightly inflected edges. Nostrils basal, elliptical, direct, open. Head rather large; neck short; body robust. Feet short; tarsus and toes scutellate; two toes before and two behind, the inner hind toe shortest; claws strong, arched, acute.

Plumage glossy, generally blended, on the back and wings compact. Wings longish, third and fourth quills longest. Tail much rounded, of twelve decurved stiff feathers, worn by rubbing to an acute, ragged point. Palpebral region bare.

Bill light blue, dark at the tip. Feet of the same colour. Iris dark hazel, palpebral region bluish. Head and neck bright crimson. Backwing-coverts, primaries and tail-feathers black, with blue reflections; rump and secondaries white, the shafts of the latter black. Breast and abdomen white, tinged with yellowish-brown; an irregular transverse narrow band of black at the junction of the red of the fore-neck and the white of the breast.

Length 9 inches, extent of wings 17; bill along the ridge 1, along the gap 1⅓; tarsus 1.


Adult Female. Plate XXVII. Fig. 2.