625. PIED WOODPECKER.
Dendrocopus major (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 176 (1766) ; (Naum.), v. p. 298, Taf. 134 ; (Hewitson), i. p. 240, pl. lxi. fig. 3 ; (Gould), B. of Gt. Brit, iii. pl. 70 ; Newton, ii. p. 470 ; (Dresser), v. p. 19, pl. 275 ; Hargitt, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xviii. p. 211 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 712 ; Saunders, p. 275 ; Lilford, ii. p. 6, pls. 2, 3 ; D. cissa (Pall.), Zoogr. R. As. i. p. 412 (1811) ; Hargitt, tom. cit. p. 214 ; D. purus, Stenj. Auk. 1884, p. 35.
Pic epieche, French ; Peto malhado, Portug. ; Picamaderos, Span. ; Picchio maggiore, Ital. ; Grosser Buntspecht, Germ. ; Bonte Specht, Dutch ; Stor Flagspet, Norw. and Dan. ; Storre Hackspett, Swed. ; Isompi-Tikka, Finn. ; Obiknovennoi-Dyatell, Russ.
Male ad. (Sweden). Upper parts chiefly black ; occiput crimson ; fore¬head fulvous white ; lores, cheeks, ear-coverts, sides of neck and scapulars white ; quills barred with white on the outer web, as are the outer tail-feathers ; under parts more or less white ; lower abdomen and under tail-coverts crimson ; bill lead-grey ; legs greenish grey ; iris pale reddish. Culmen 1.1, wing 5.8, tail 4.0, tarsus 0.95 inch. The female lacks all red on the head, and the young have the crown crimson from the frontal band to the occiput.
Hab. Europe generally, from about 70° N. lat., down to the Mediterranean ; Canaries ; Asia Minor ; Asia east to Kamchatka and the sea of Japan, and south to Mongolia. Frequents woodlands and the true forest, and in the summer especially is somewhat fond of solitude. As a rule it is a resident or only a partial migrant, wandering away in search of food in the winter, when it sometimes consorts with other species. Its note is a sharp tick or tschick, and in the spring it often makes a loud whirring sound by rapidly hammering a bough. Its food consists of insects of various kinds, caterpillars, larvae, ants, &c., and it is especially useful as a destroyer of, injurious insects and their larvae ; it is also said to eat nuts, conifer-seeds, and berries. It bores its nest-hole in a tree, usually one which is rotten at heart, and on the bare bottom deposits in May its 4 to 7 eggs, which are glossy white, oval, tapering towards the small end, and in size measuring about 1.0 by 0.68.
Examples from the Canaries have, as a rule, the under parts darker than average northern birds, and those from N. and N.E. Asia, especially from Kamchatka, have these parts pure white.
625. Dendrocopus major
625. PIED WOODPECKER.