Monday, February 8, 2010

The Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Light and Dark-billed

Originally posted 8/7/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

I hope that you are enjoying whatever season it happens to be wherever you are in the world. It's been quite a while since my last post because I've been on vacation in northwestern Spain and Portugal, where I was hoping to see the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) and the Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis), each for the first time.

Fortunately, I found them in Galicia, Spain (GSWO, in a recently burned section of a pine forest) and in Ponte de Lima, Portugal (GRWO, in a riparian forest), both in the very early morning hours. I was thrilled to see them, though my photos of the birds are nothing special.

You can see super photos and read numerous posts on both birds over at Woodpeckers of Europe at these links:

Now, back to those woodpecker's larger relatives, within the Campephilus genus, here are two illustrations for you.

Light bill, dark bill.  These illustrations from Alfred Mahlerbe's Monographie des Picidées both depict the Crimson-crested Woodpecker (so far as I can tell!).  The nominate species with the greyish-ivory to almost white bill appears above, and it has a range in South America east of the Andes mountains, south to Argentina and Brazil.  A subspecies is illustrated below, and it is named after Malherbe.  It has a dark grey to brown-grey bill and ranges from western Panama to north and west Columbia.

These illustrations are within the public domain and appear here courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York. 


- Woodpeckers: A Guide to the Woodpeckers of the World by H. Winkler, D. A. Christie & D. Nurney


Linda said...

The woodpeckers are rare to see. I am go glad you spotted a couple. Thanks for the great read and photos! I enjoyed..Enjoy your summer!

Bill Benish said...

Thanks Linda. It was great to find and watch these birds in Europe.


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