Thursday, January 23, 2014

Illustration of Imperial Woodpeckers by George F. Sandström



Illustration by George F. Sandström, © Delaware Museum of Natural History

It is my great pleasure to present you with this fantastic illustration of a pair of Imperial Woodpeckers that appears on Plate 84 of Woodpeckers of the World by Lester L. Short, published by the Delaware Museum of Natural History (1982).  

The book is a comprehensive account of the 198 species in the Picidae family that Short recognized, and it includes a total of 101 plates by artist George F. Sandström that portray these species in their natural colors with exquisite details. As Dean Amadon wrote in the preface:

The success of artist George Sandström's labors will be evident to anyone who leafs through the plates. They permit an efficient comparison of woodpeckers, particularly of closely related species, often grouped on the same or in adjacent plates, from all quarters of the globe; they are an integral part of this treatise.

Plates 79 through 84 depict the 11 species within the Campephilus genus. Eventually, I will post all of the illustrations from those plates here, pursuant to permission obtained from the publisher. It seemed fitting to start with the majestic Imperial Woodpecker, the largest woodpecker in the world!

Tim Gallagher has a blog devoted to his book on the Imperial Woodpecker here:


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