Saturday, February 6, 2010

Le Mégapic-Impérial et Le Mégapic à Bec d’Ivoire

Originally posted  2/26/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Illustration courtesy of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections,
Cornell University Libraries.

The magnificent Imperial Woodpecker is depicted in this hand-colored lithograph from French naturalist Alfred Malherbe's four-volume work, Monographie des picidées (1859-1862).  There is another illustration and more information about the work available here at this link.

The largest woodpecker in the world, the female Imperial Woodpecker is shown in full with her tongue extended, contrasted with the male whose crest is red and black.  In the background, male and female Ivory-billed Woodpeckers are depicted in what certainly appears to be an adaptation of John James Audubon's painting of the birds in 1826.

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