996. Hemilophus pulverulentus

996. Hemilophus pulverulentus.

The Great Slaty Woodpecker.

Picus pulverulentus, Temm. Pl. Col. pl. 389 (1826). Picus gutturalis, Valenc. Diet. Sc. Nat. xl, p. 178 (1826). Hemilophus pulverulentus, Swains. Classif. B. ii, p. 309 ; Blyth, Cat. p. 54 ; id. J. A. S. B. xxiii, p. 215 ; Blanf. Ibis, 1870, p. 464; Hargitt, Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 494; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 315. Mulleripicus pulverulentus, Bonap. Consp. Volucr. Zygod. p. 7 ; Horsf, & M. Cat. ii, p. 651 ; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 284 ; id. Ibis, 1872, p. 9; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, p. 155; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 133; Hume, Cat. no. 168; Bingham, S. F. ix, pp. 141, 162, 472. Alophonerpes gutturalis, Cab. & Heine, Mus. Hein. iv (2), p. 106 ; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 75. Mulleripicus gutturalis, Hume & Oates, S. F. iii, p. 66. Alophonerpes pulverulentus, Wardl.-Rams. Ibis, 1877, p. 457 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 29.

Coloration. Male. Ashy grey ; head paler, especially in front, all feathers of forehead, crown, neck, and breast with small pale tips ; a large dull pale crimson patch in the malar region below the eye ; chin, throat, and fore neck saffron-yellow, tinged with red, especially on the fore neck, the feathers of the yellow area short and stiff ; whole body slaty ash, paler and isabelline round the vent; quills and tail-feathers darker; outer webs of primaries sometimes tipped pale.

The female wants the red malar patch, and the throat and fore neck are yellow without any red. In young males the forehead and greater part of the crown are tinged with pale crimson.

Bill bluish white, black on the culmen and tips of both mandibles ; mouth bluish black; eyelids plumbeous; iris dark hazel-brown ; legs dark plumbeous ; claws bluish (Oates).

Length of males about 20; tail 7; wing 9; tarsus 1.55; bill from gape 3 : females rather less.

Distribution. The Terai and base of the Himalayas, as far west as Kumaun (or, perhaps, Dehra Dun), not common ; also from Assam throughout Burma to Cochin China, Sumatra, Java, and Borneo, sparingly distributed as a rule, but common in a few localities.

Habits, &c. This grand Woodpecker is a denizen of high forests, and especially of hilly tracts, and is generally seen high up the stems and upper branches of trees, keeping in small parties of from three or four to ten or twelve, and very noisy, often uttering a peculiar querulous call. The nest was found by Bingham during the rains in a Kanyin tree (Dipterocarpus alatus) that had been blown down and used as a bridge over a stream. The birds had made a hole 3 1/2 inches in diameter, extending a foot inwards and then 8 inches downwards. The hole contained two fresh glossy white eggs, measuring 1.41 x 1.11.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
996. Hemilophus pulverulentus
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Great Slaty Woodpecker
Great Slaty Woodpecker
Mulleripicus pulverulentus
Vol. 3

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