Three Toed Woodpecker by John James Audubon art print

Brandywine General Store

SKU: 132 audubon

An archival premium Quality art Print of The Three Toed Woodpecker by John James Audubon for sale by Brandywine General Store. This painting was plate or picture number 132 in the first Havell edition of The Birds of America, which was published during the third part of the 19th century and is the greatest ornithological book ever produced. The picture shows three specimens of woodpeckers, two males and one female. All of them are perched in a tree that is dying, woodpeckers seldom bother healthy trees, they go after diseased ones that have bugs and worms in them. The female is mostly white and black in color, with the males being the same color but more showy and with bright yellow heads. In later editions of Audubon's books this bird was known as the Arctic Three Toed Woodpecker. Mr. Audubon describes the Three Toed Woodpecker in the book, The Birds of America thus "This curious species of Woodpecker is found in the northern parts of the State of Massachusetts, and in all portions of Maine that are covered by forests of tall trees, in which it constantly resides. I saw a few in the Great Pine Forest of Pennsylvania, and my friend, the Rev. JOHN BACHMAN, observed four near the Falls of Niagara, about twelve years ago, and is of opinion that some may breed in the upper part of the State of New York. It is a restless, active bird, spending its time generally on the topmost branches of the tallest trees, without, however, confining itself to pines. Although it cannot be called shy, its habitual restlessness renders it difficult of approach. Its movements resemble those of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, but it is still more petulant than that bird. Like it, it will alight, climb along a branch, seek for insects there, and in a very few moments remove to another part of the same tree, or to another tree at more or less distance, thus spending the day in rambling over a large extent of ground. Its cries also somewhat resemble those of the species above mentioned, but are louder and more shrill, like those of some small quadruped suffering great pain. During the middle hours of the day it becomes silent, and often retires to some concealed place to rest awhile. In the afternoon of warm days, it very frequently makes sorties after flying insects, which it seems to secure in the air with as much ease as the Red-headed Woodpecker. Besides insects, it also feeds on berries and other small fruits. Its flight is rapid, gliding, and deeply undulated, as it shifts from one place to another. Now and then it will fly from a detached tree of a field to a considerable distance before it alights, emitting at every glide a loud shrill note. When alighted, the rolling tappings of its bill against a dead and dried branch are as sonorous as those of the Redhead. I never saw one on the ground, but I have not unfrequently met with them searching the decayed wood of a prostrate tree. The nest of this species is generally bored in the body of a sound tree, near its first large branches. I observed no particular choice as to the timber, having seen it in oaks, pines, &c. The nest, like that of other allied species, is worked out by both sexes, and takes fully a week before it is completed, its usual depth being from twenty to twenty-four inches. It is smooth and broad at the bottom, although so narrow at its entrance as to appear scarcely sufficient to enable one of the birds to enter it. The eggs are from four to six, rather rounded, and pure white. Only one brood is raised in the season. The young follow their parents until autumn, when they separate and shift for themselves. They do not attain their full plumage until the second year. The number of these Woodpeckers is greatly increased in the State of Maine during winter, by accessions from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Labrador, in all which countries I have found the species in summer, but where, if I am rightly informed, few remain during severe winters....." Audubon Birds art print #132

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