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Lewis's Woodpecker: Melanerpes lewis


Tobalske, Bret W.; Vierling, Kerri T.; Saab, Victoria A. 2013. Lewis's Woodpecker: Melanerpes lewis. In: Poole, A., ed. The Birds of North America Online. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. doi: 10.2173/bna.284.

During the historic Lewis and Clark expedition, Meriwether Lewis wrote on 20 July 1805, "I saw a black woodpecker (or crow) today it is a distinct species of woodpecker; it has a long tail and flys a good deal like the jay bird" (sic, Thwaites 1905). Subsequent observations of flight and vocalization reminded him of the Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) he knew from his home in Virginia. A few years later the ornithologist Alexander Wilson, working with skins that Lewis and Clark's expedition had provided, described this species in his American Ornithology and named it Lewis's Woodpecker in honor of his fellow naturalist (Snow 1941, Farrand 1992, Mearns and Mearns 1992).

Keywords: Lewis's Woodpecker: Melanerpes lewis, breeding birds, distribution, migration, habitat, food habits, sounds, behavior, breeding


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Lewis's Woodpecker: Melanerpes lewis
Electronic Publish Date: September 18, 2013
Last Update:
September 18, 2013

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