280. THE NUTHATCH.
Sitta coesia, Meyer and Wolf, Taschenb. Deutsch. Vogelk. i. p. 128 (1870) : Hewitson, i. p. 247, pl. 62 xii. fig. 4 ; Gould. B. of Gt. Brit, pl. xxii ; Newton, i. p. 473 , Dresser, iii, p. 175, pl. 119 ; Gadow, Cat. B. Br. Mus. viii. p. 347 ; Saunders, p. 113 ; Lilford, ii. p. 112, pl. 51 ; S. europoea, nec. Linn. Naum. v. p. 377, Taf. 139 ; S. sinensis, Verr. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Bull. vi. p. 34 (1871).
Torchepot, French ; Trepadeira, Portug. ; Trepatroncos, Span. ; Picchiotto, Ital. ; Spechtmeise, Kleiber, German ; Boomklever, Dutch.
Male ad. (Germany). Upper parts, wings, and tail as in S. europoea, but the entire under parts except the chin and throat are pale ochreous cin¬namon ; bill brownish horn ; legs pale dull brown ; iris brownish. Culmen 0.7, wing 3.3, tail 1.8, tarsus 0.8 inch. Sexes alike.
Hab. Great Britain and continental Europe down to Algeria, and from the Canary Islands east to Persia, reappearing in China.
In habits it agrees closely with S. europoea and like that species is not a true migrant, but only a wanderer in the winter season. It frequents the same places, groves and gardens, and also feeds on insects and their larvae, nuts, &c., and its nest and eggs are also similar.
The colouration of the under parts varies in tone according to locality. British specimens are as a rule dullest, though occas¬ionally one is as brightly coloured as any ; and those from Italy and Asia Minor have the under parts most brightly coloured. Sitta sinensis, which inhabits China and eastern Tibet, is said to differ from the European bird, merely in being somewhat smaller in size.
Seebohm named a form which he says inhabits Pomerania the Baltic provinces, Poland, and the Crimea, Sitta, homeyeri, as being intermediate between S. coesia and S. europoea, but after an examination of his specimens and those in my collection it seems to me that this form cannot be separated from S. europoea. It has the abdomen tinged with cream colour, and I have examined Scandinavian examples of S. curopoea, which also have the abdomen slightly washed with cream colour.
280. Sitta cAesia
280. THE NUTHATCH.