Crown, and upper part of the body, black; scapulars white; a crimson patch on the occiput.
P. major, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. i. p. 395. Id. torn. III p. 281. Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Must. vol. i. p. 376. pl. 38. f. 3. Pied Woodpecker, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. l. p. 138.
Entire length nine inches six lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) one inch, (from the gape) one inch three lines; of the tarsus eleven lines; of the tail three inches seven lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing five inches: breadth, wings extended, fourteen inches.
A transverse band of dirty white on the forehead; crown of the head black; occiput crimson-red: cheeks and ear-coverts white, bounded beneath by a black line, proceeding from the corner of the mouth towards the nape, from whence arises another line of the same colour that passes down the side of the neck and terminates on the breast: a white spot on each side of the back part of the neck: back and lesser wing-coverts velvet-black; scapulars, and some of the greater coverts nearest the body, pure white: quills black, with a series of white spots on each web: throat, fore part of the neck, breast and belly, dirty white; abdomen and under tail-coverts rich crimson: tail black; the three lateral feathers on each side spotted and tipped with dirty white: irides red: bill and feet dusky lead-colour. In the female, there is no red on the occiput. In young birds, until the first moult, the crown of the head is red, and the patch on the occiput black; the black on the upper parts is also tinged with brown. (Egg). Smooth; shining white: long. diam. one inch; trans, diam. nine lines.
Not so abundant as the last species, but hardly to be esteemed rare. Haunts, food, and habits, very similar. Makes a loud jarring noise in the Spring, (probably a call-note to the other sex) by striking its bill very rapidly and many times in succession against the branch of a tree. Makes no nest, but deposits its eggs, which are four or five in number, in the holes of decayed trees. Obs. The Middle Spotted Woodpecker of Montagu and other English authors is only the young of this species: the Picus medius of Temrainck is distinct; but not hitherto found in this country.