Sunday, February 7, 2010

Guayaquil & Red-necked Woodpecker Illustration

Originally posted 11/24/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

The large bird depicted in this hand-colored lithograph by Delahaye appears in Alfred Malherbe's Monographie des picidées (1859-1862).  It is a Guayaquil Woodpecker, listed here with its old name Mégapic de Sclater.  Curiously, the sex of the bird is noted as male, and that appears to be an error.  The male Guayaquil Woodpecker's head is entirely red, but for a small black and white patch below its ear.   The female Guayaquil Woodpecker possesses a white band extending from the base of its bill to its white neck stripe.

The two pairs of birds in this illustration are two subspecies of the Red-necked Woodpecker.  While most of the illustrations in this work are excellent, these do not quite capture the splendid appearance of this bird.  It must have proved very challenging to draw these relatively large birds to such a small scale!

This image within the public domain appears here courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.


Chris said...

Very interesting post once again Bill. I'd love to see this guy with my own eyes thought ;-)

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