Lineated Woodpecker

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Birds of America

By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.


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[Lineated Woodpecker.]

[Dryocopus lineatus.]

(Not figured.)

A specimen of a Woodpecker sent from the Columbia river by Dr. MEREDITH GAIRDNER to Professor JAMESON of Edinburgh, who kindly lent it to me for the purpose of being described, I found to be the Picus linealus of LINNAEUS, a species which appears to be very extensively distributed, being, according to various authors, plentiful in Cayenne, Guiana, Brazil, and even Paraguay. The specimen, which was shot near Fort Vancouver, is an adult male, but has been injured in the wings. Along with it were specimens of Picus Harrisii and Picus ruber, shot in the same neighbourhood. I hope to be able to give a figure of this species at the end of the present work.

PICUS LINEATUS, Linn. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 174.

LINEATED WOODPECKER, Picus linealus, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p. 315.

Male, 15, wing, 7 2/12.

Columbia river.

Adult Male.

Bill nearly as long as the head, straight, strong, angulate, depressed at the base, compressed toward the end, which is truncate, and laterally worn so as to be wedge-shaped. Upper mandible with the dorsal line slightly convex, the ridge very narrow and prominent, the sides concave at the base, the lateral angles nearer the ridge than the edges, which are sharp and direct; the point with two slight ridges on each side; lower mandible with the angle long and narrow, the dorsal line ascending and straight, the ridge narrow, the sides erect at the base, afterwards sloping outwards and convex, the tip narrow; gap-line straight. Nostrils elliptical, covered by a tuft of reversed bristly feathers.

Head rather large, ovato-oblong; neck rather long and slender. Feet short, stout; tarsus very short, scutellate before, scaly on the sides; two toes before, two behind, the fourth being directed backwards; the first very small, the third a little longer than the fourth, all scutellate above; claws strong, much curved, much compressed, deep, broadly grooved on the sides, very acute.

Plumage blended; feathers on the upper and hind part of the head linear, glossy, stiffish, with separated barbs, forming a broad occipital crest an inch in length. Wings long, much rounded; the outer six quills with the inner web cut out: the first very small, being only an inch and three-quarters long; the second two inches and five-twelfths longer; the third eleven-twelfths longer; the fourth two and a half twelfths shorter than the fifth, which is longest; the fourth a little shorter than the sixth; the third and seventh nearly equal; the second shorter than the eighth. Tail rather long, cuneate, acuminate, of twelve feathers, the lateral only an inch and three-quarters long, slender and unworn, the rest pointed; the middle feathers exceeding the second outer feathers by an inch and eight-twelfths.

Bill horn-coloured, bluish toward the end, dusky at the point. Feet greyish-blue, claws brownish. The upper part of the head, including the forehead and occiput, vivid scarlet; a narrow dusky line from the nostril to the eye; a patch, including the eyelids and ear-coverts, leaden-grey; a narrow band down the hind part of the neck gradually enlarging, the back, wings, and tail deep black; a band from the nostrils obliquely descending over the side of the head, passing backwards behind the ear, then much enlarged, and running down the side of the neck to the shoulder, a large oblique patch at the commencement of the wing, including the outer scapulars, the small feathers on the edge of the wing under the alula, the lower wing-coverts, and the inner webs of the quills for about half their length, pure white. There is an elongated oblong crimson patch at the base of the lower jaw; the chin or fore part of the throat is yellowish-white, longitudinally streaked with dusky, the rest of the fore neck and a part of the breast black; the lower parts and sides brownish-white, transversely barred with black.

Length to end of tail 15 inches; bill along the ridge 1 5/12, along the edge of lower mandible 1 10/12; wing from flexure 7 2/12; tail 5 1/12; tarsus 1/12; hind toe (4 1/2)/12, its claw (3 1/4)/12; second toe 9/12, its claw 8/12; third toe 1 1/12, its claw (9 1/2)/12; third toe (10 1/2)/12, its claw 8/12.

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