997. Thriponax hodgsoni.
The Malabar Great Black Woodpecker.
Hemilophus hodgsonii, Jerdon, Madr. Jour, xi, p. 215, pl. ii (1840); Blyth, Cat. p. 55. Picus hodgsonii, Jerdon, Ill. Ind. Orn. pl. v. Mulleripicus hodgsoni, Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 284. Thriponax hodgsoni, Hume, S. F. iii, p. 67; id. Cat. no. 169; Hume & Bourdillon, S. F. iv, p. 390; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 386; Davison, S. F. x, p. 355; McGregor, ibid. p. 437; Hargitt, Ibis, 1885, p. 150 ; id. Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 503; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 116; Davidson, Jour. Bomb. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 335.
The Great Black Woodpecker, Jerdon.
Coloration. Male. Forehead, crown, nape, and large malar patch on each side crimson; lower back and rump, lower breast and upper part of abdomen, flanks, axillaries, and basal portion (1-1-15 inches long) of inner webs of secondaries buffy white; remainder of plumage black.
Female. The crimson is confined to the occiput and nape, all the remainder of the head black.
Bill black ; irides crimson ; legs dark plumbeous (Jerdon).
Length of males about 19, of females 17.5; tail 7; wing 8.5; tarsus 1.5; bill from gape 2.6.
Distribution. Forests near the Malabar coast up to an elevation of about 3000 feet or rather higher, from Travancore to west of Belgaum (16° N. lat.). Not recorded farther north.
Habits, &c. Ashy bird, not noisy, usually found in pairs, sometimes in parties of three to six. It keeps generally to evergreen forest and has a loud, not unpleasant, call-note. The eggs are not known with certainty, and Davidson thinks it lays one only, as he never saw more than three birds together.