The Common Green Wood-Pecker, pp.119-120.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

RECEIVES his name from the facility with which he pecks the insects from the chinks of trees, and holes in the bark. They are often seen hanging by their claws, and resting upon their tails against the stem of a tree; and after darting, with strength and noise, their beak against the bark, turn round with great alacrity, which manoeuvre has made the country people suppose, that they go round to see whether they have not pierced the tree through its body. The fact is, that this beating against the bark is for no other purpose than to rouse the insects, which the chink contains, and to force them to come out, which they would not do if their enemy was present there; and soon after the Pecker turning round takes them unawares, and feeds upon them; when the insects answer not the delusive call, the birds dart their long tongues into the hole, and bring out, by this means, their reluctant prey. The plumage of this bird is a compound of red and green, two colours, the approximation of which is always productive of harmony in the works of nature. They nest in the hollow of trees where the female lays five or six whitish eggs upon the bare ground, trusting to the natural heat of her body to hatch them into life. 

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