655. Gecinus canus

655. Grey-headed Green Woodpecker.
Gecinus canus (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 434 (1788) ; (Naum), v. p. 286, Taf. 133, figs. 1, 2 ; (Gould), B. of E. iii. pl. 227 ; Dresser, v. p. 95, pl. 288 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 51 ; Hargitt, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xviii. p. 252 ; Seebohm, B. .Tap. Emp. p. 148 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 697.
Pic cendre, French ; Picchio cenerino, Ital. ; Grauspecht, German ; Kleine-groene-Specht, Dutch ; Graaspette, Dan. and Norweg. ; Graspett, Swed. ; Haamapainen-Tikka, Finn. ; Sadozo-lovoi-Dyatll, Russ. ; Yama-gera, Jap.
Male ad. (Sweden). Head and neck grey ; nasal plumes tipped with black ; fore-crown bright crimson, the hind-crown streaked with blackish ; lores and malar stripe blackish ; upper parts green, the lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts golden yellow ; quills and tail brownish, the former barred with dull white, the middle rectrices indistinctly barred with lighter ashy brown ; throat grey ; the rest of the under parts greenish ; bill bluish, grey at the base below ; legs greenish or bluish grey ; iris varying from pinkish white to brownish red. Culmen 1.4, wing 5.7, tail 4.3, tarsus 1.0 inch. The female lacks the crimson on the crown, and the malar stripe is rather indistinct.
Hab. Europe generally, from the Trondhjemfjord to the south of Europe, where it becomes scarcer ; has occurred in Lapland ; not found in Great Britain ; of rare occurrence on the Iberian peninsula. In the south-east it is found in the Caucasus ; in Asia it ranges across Siberia to Yezo in Japan, and south to Corea, North China, and Manchuria.
In habits it resembles its ally G. viridis, and like that bird affects non-evergreen woods in preference to conifers, but. it is scarcely so shy. As a rule it is a resident or only a partial migrant throughout its range. Its note is a clear call, like klii, klih, klih, klyh, klyh, kluh, kluh, kluh, kluh, gradually deepening in tone, and is not so loud or harsh as the cry of G. viridis. It feeds on insects of various kinds, caterpillars, larvae, and especially on ants and their pupae, and when insects are scarce will eat berries. It bores its nest-hole usually in a soft-wood tree at from 10 to 20 feet above the ground, and in May or early in June deposits 6 to 8 glossy white eggs, rather blunter, as a rule, at the larger end than those of G. viridis, and measuring about 1.21 by 0.85.
Dr. Stejneger separated the Japanese bird subspecifically as G. canus jessoensis (Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., 1886, p. 106), and the Siberian bird (tom. cit. p. 107, note) as G. canus perpallidus, but I cannot see that these are even subspecifically separable from the European bird.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
655. Gecinus canus
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Grey Headed Green Woodpecker
Grey-headed Woodpecker
Picus canus
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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