(Picus martius, Linn.—Le Pic noir, Buff.)
THIS scarce bird is the largest of the British Woodpeckers, being about seventeen inches in length, bill nearly two and a half, of a horn colour, and pale yellow on the sides; irides also pale yellow; the crown of the head is crimson, and the feathers elongated to the nape; the quills are brown, and all the rest of the plumage dull black; the legs are lead grey, having the fore part covered with feathers half their length.
The female differs from the male, the hinder part of her head only being red, and in some specimens, the red is entirely wanting; the black parts of her plumage are also duller. They form their nest in the deep hollows of old trees, and like the rest of the genus lay two or three white eggs.
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