Plumage above, green; beneath, greenish ash; crown and occiput bright red.
P. viridis, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. 1. p. 391. Id. torn. III. p. 280. Green Woodpecker, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Must. vol. I. p. 372. pl. 38. f. 2. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. 1. p. 136.
Entire length thirteen inches three lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) one inch seven lines, (from the gape) one inch nine lines and a half; of the tarsus one inch two lines; of the tail three inches ten lines and a half; from the carpus to the end of the wing six inches four lines; breadth, wings extended, twenty-one inches.
Crown and occiput bright crimson-red; base of the bill, and region of the eyes, black; a broad crimson moustache edged with black descending from the corner of the bill: hind part of the neck, back, and wing-coverts, bright green; rump gamboge-yellow: under parts grayish white, with a tinge of yellowish green: primaries dusky, with a regular series of pale yellow spots on the outer webs: tail-feathers presenting alternate bars of green and dusky-brown; the extreme tips black: bill dusky; the base of the lower mandible yellowish: irides white: feet pale brown with a tinge of green. In the female, there is less red on the head, and less black about the eyes; the moustache is entirely black. In very young birds, the red on the head is mixed with yellowish gray; the green tint on the upper parts paler, and irregularly spotted with ash-gray; the moustache incomplete; and the under parts marked with transverse brown bars. (Egg-) Smooth and shining: pure white: long. diam. one inch two lines and a half; trans, diam. ten lines and a half.
Common in wooded districts throughout the country. Feeds on ants, and other insects; more especially the larvae of the timber-eating species, which it extracts by means of its long tongue, after having perforated the wood with its bill. Breeds in the holes of trees. Eggs four or five in number, deposited on the rotten wood.