Up Close & Personal … The Northern Flicker

19 comments
In my Garden, Musings, Nature, Out and About, Photography, Up Close & Personal ...

There’s been a seemingly endless stream of bird parents bringing their fledglings
to our garden this summer, teaching them how to feed themselves. 

Northern Flickers are in the tree climber/woodpecker family.

They are shy birds and easily spooked by people.

They also always announce their arrival loudly as they approach the feeders.

It takes time and practice for the fledgelings to figure things out.
They have to learn how to land, as well as how not to fall or slide off the poles and feeders.

Flickers also eat ants and can therefore often seen foraging for them on the ground.

Flickers have beautiful plumage!
Males are identified by a red mustache that the females lack.

But both, male and female flickers have a polkadot pattern on their breasts
and beautiful 
reddish-orange colors under their wings and tail. 

This mother and son pair kept a close eye on me and my camera while feeding.
🙂

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

19 thoughts on “Up Close & Personal … The Northern Flicker”

  1. Sabine, you have wonderful garden visitors. As we’ve progressed in building our gardens, I’m seeing more creatures and critters. They’re terribly interesting to watch. Thanks for sharing your pictorial observations! Have a fabulous week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are fortunate to have a feeding station where the flickers frequent Sabine. I’ve never seen a flicker. How nice to see the moms teaching their little ones “how to be a flicker” – it warms my heart seeing this as I have not seen any bird activity at the Park in many weeks. If I see any birds it is in the neighborhood … when it is very warm and on occasions when we have not had rain in awhile (very few times) … I see the birds in the sprinklers getting their feathers wet and drinking or bathing in puddles in the street. I used to see birds bathing in my neighbor’s gutters but she got leaf guards so they are no longer filled with maple seeds and leaves, thus less entertainment for me. 🙂

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    • You’re right, Linda, I am lucky to have a bird-friendly backyard! Late spring through midsummer we get all kinds of different birds bringing their babies here. It’s fun to watch and it makes me feel happy and good to be able to make a bit of a difference in the world. There is a group of three young flickers that visits together sometimes. I wonder if they’re siblings or just friends! Having the woods and the nature park nearby probably helps. I hope you get to spot a flicker sometime. They have a yellow shafted version in your area. Listen to their call online and then see if you can hear them on your walks! 🙂

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      • I listened to the call at several sites Sabine – it sure is distinctive! In fact, I hear a call in the morning that sounds similar to that … I can’t describe it except to say that it sounds like something you’d hear in a jungle. So I listened to the Flicker, then Googled “jungle-sounding birds in Michigan” … came up with Pileated Woodpecker and Cooper’s Hawk. Hmm. It sounds sometimes like I’m walking through a rain forest. I’ve not seen any birds at the Park lately – and not many squirrels. This fact has me concerned the Cooper’s Hawk(s) may be back and my critters are hiding.

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      • I think if you heard it you’d recognize it! Like you said, it’s very distinct. The Pileated Woodpecker is probably closer to the flicker’s call than the Cooper’s Hawk. I’m crossing my fingers that you hear one sometime!

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      • I guess since they are from the same family – and I didn’t know they called it “drumming” … when I see a woodpecker and have written about it, I always call it drilling. I didn’t think the Cooper’s Hawk had a normal birdsong!

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      • That is amazing … now I heard that bird call again this morning, I could not pinpoint it to the Flicker or Pileated Woodpecker and not the hawk either. I have to listen to all three again – this noise reminds me of when I was a kid and watched cartoons and it had noises in a jungle. (No, not a Kookaburra either!) I’ve not seen a Stellar’s Jay – we just have regular Blue Jays and when they screech at each other sometimes in the tree, they are quite loud. At the Park, they’ll all flock to one tree and screech – it is almost deafening!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think you have Steller’s Jays back east. They are similar to the Scrub Jays we have in California. All jays seem to congregate in trees and squawk away. You’ll eventually see the noisemaker! Just keep looking up! 😉

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