Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) - HBW 7, p. 420

French: Torcol fourmilier German: Wendehals Spanish: Torcecuello Euroasiático
Other common names: (Northern) Wryneck

Taxonomy: Jynx Torquilla Linnaeus, 1758, Europe = Sweden.
Forms a superspecies with J. ruficollis. Several additional races described from Asia, but geogra­phical variation largely clinal, also somewhat random, and individual variation notable, with much overlap in characters, and all are considered better lumped with nominate race: birds breeding from Ural Mts to R Yenisey named as sarudnyi on basis of paler plumage with fewer markings below, and others farther E and in China as race chinensis on basis of more barred plumage, but both populations contain individuals closely resembling or identical to W birds; Japanese birds.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Jynx Torquilla Linnaeus, 1758, Europe = Sweden.
Forms a superspecies with J. ruficollis. Several additional races described from Asia, but geogra­phical variation largely clinal, also somewhat random, and individual variation notable, with much overlap in characters, and all are considered better lumped with nominate race: birds breeding from Ural Mts to R Yenisey named as sarudnyi on basis of paler plumage with fewer markings below, and others farther E and in China as race chinensis on basis of more barred plumage, but both populations contain individuals closely resembling or identical to W birds; Japanese birds ­described as japonica, more barred and with more rufous in plumage, but some are identical to W (including European) breeders. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • torquilla Linnaeus, 1758 - most of Eurasia, except parts of S; winters in Africa and S Asia.
  • tschusii Kleinschmidt, 1907 - Corsica, Sardinia, Italy and E Adriatic coast; winters in Africa.
  • mauretanica Rothschild, 1909 - NW Africa.
  • himalayana Vaurie, 1959 - NW Himalayas (N Pakistan E to Himachal Pradesh); winters to S, at lower altitudes.