lynx torquilla (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 172 (1766) ; (Naum.), 5, p. 356, Taf. 138, figs. 1, 2 ; Hewitson, i. p. 242, pl. lxii. fig. 1 ; (Gould), B. of E. iii. pl. 233 ; (id.), B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 76 ; Newton, ii. p. 487 ; Dresser, v. p. 103, pl. 289 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p, 55 ; Har¬gitt, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xviii. p. 560 ; (Tacz.) F. O. Sib. O. p. 727 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 78 ; Saunders, p. 271 ; Lilford, ii. p. 12, pl. 5 ; Seebohm, B. Jap. Emp. p. 157.
Torcol ordinaire, French ; Papa-formigas, Portug. ; Torcecuello, Span. ; Torcecollo, Ital. ; Wendehals, German ; Draaihals, Dutch ; Vendehals, Dan. and Norweg. ; Goktyta, Swed. ; Kaen-piika, Finn. ; Vertigolovka, Russ. ; Gardan eyengtha, Hind. ; Meda nulingadu, Tam.
Male ad. (England). Upper parts greyish, washed with brown, barred and finely vermiculated and marked with brown and black, the nape, middle of the back, scapulars, and inner secondaries broadly striped with blackish ; quills externally barred with warm buff ; tail minutely vermiculated and pencilled with blackish, and having five to six distinct blackish brown bars ; under parts buffy white, the middle of the abdomen nearly clear white ; throat and upper breast marked with blackish brown bars, which towards the abdomen become arrow-headed in shape ; flanks and tail-coverts barred with blackish ; a blackish brown stripe passes through the eye to the nape, and above this is a buffy white line ; bill dull brown ; legs yellowish brown ; iris hazel. Culmen 0.58, wing 3.4, tail 2.7, tarsus 0.75 inch. The female resembles the male, but is rather duller in colour, and the young bird has the under parts more strongly marked with blackish brown.
Hab. Europe generally up to about 63° N. lat., above which it is rare ; not found in Lapland ; migrating to Africa, south to Kordofan and Senegal ; Asia, north to Kamchatka, east to Japan ; in winter ranging south to the plains of Burma and India.
Though this bird has the feet of a Woodpecker, its tail is not stiff like those birds’, and it but seldom climbs about the trees like them. It has a habit of elongating and twisting its neck in a curious way, and when disturbed in its nest-hole utters a loud hissing sound like the note of a snake. Its usual note is a loud qui, qui, uttered quickly, many times in succession, but except during the breeding season it is a silent bird. Its flight, when continued any distance in the open consists of a succession of bow-shaped lines. It feeds on insects of various kinds, especially on ants, darting and with¬drawing its long tongue, when collecting them, with almost lightning velocity. It breeds in the hole of a tree, not making one for itself but selecting any suitable one, and in May deposits on the bare wood or on the chips at the bottom of the hole 7 to 9 and even 12 glossy white eggs, which measure about 0.84 by 0.67.
656. Iynx torouilla