Upper parts yellowish gray, irregularly spotted and lined with brown and black; a broad black mesial stripe on the back of the neck.
Y. Torquilla, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. i. p. 403. Id. torn. 1ll. p. 284. Wryneck, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. I p. 381. pl. 38. f. 1. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. i. p. 129.
Entire length seven inches four lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) six lines, (from the gape) nine lines and a half; of the tarsus eight lines and a half; of the tail two inches eight lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing three inches six lines: breadth, wings extended, eleven inches.
General colour of the upper plumage reddish or yellowish gray, irregularly spotted and marked with various shades of brown and black; more particularly a broad black mesial streak extending from the occiput to the upper part of the back: throat and fore part of the neck reddish yellow, with transverse undulating dusky lines; rest of the under parts whitish, with arrow-shaped black spots: quills marked on the outer webs with oblong red spots: tail-feathers rounded at the end, mottled like the back, with four transverse black bars: irides yellowish brown: bill and feet brown. (Egg). Smooth, delicate white: long. diam. nine lines and a half; trans, diam. seven lines.
A summer visitant, first appearing about the second week in April. Not very uncommon in wooded districts throughout the southern, midland, and eastern counties: said to be more rare in the West of England. Utters a loud and oft-repeated cry during the breeding season, somewhat resembling that of the Kestril Hawk. Food principally ants. Eggs six to ten in number, deposited in the holes of trees on the rotten wood, without a nest.