She’s Back!

Red-Shafted Northern Flicker (female)

Northern Flicker

After a relatively quiet day yesterday, we got front-row center seats to see the Northern Flicker in action (again) on the suet feeder. The subject has still been shot through a pane of glass, but this is a much clearer closeup with a better angle here — you can see the red on the nape of the neck, which was not visible in the first shot/blog post, and a hint of her black “necklace” just below the neck and on the upper part of the breast.

You can also see that this woodpecker has made serious inroads into the top nook! Other dickey birds tried to get on to the suet feeder at the same time! But the Northern Flicker was not to be bullied away from it, and even the most stubborn juncos were quickly bumped off.

Woody even spent a good minute just sitting perfectly still on the suet feeder — and not feeding. Which must have incensed the waiting line of other birds waiting to feed to no end.

Red-Shafted Northern Flicker (female)

from the other side

We really need to get a security cam. The wild bird seed bowl has been disturbed again a couple of hours ago, and this time, the vandal has thrown all the seed on the lawn and upended the bowl (the stone that was used to anchor the bowl was tossed in the opposite direction). Which explains why, in the early afternoon, the backyard was swarming with many sparrows on it. It might even be Woody who did the deed — Northern Flickers are ground feeders, after all, and they are certainly big enough to upset the apple cart! But it may have also been an opportunistic crow.

She did give the suet feeder a good spin when she took off, though! 🙂 On another note, I just learned today that Red-Shafted and Yellow-Shafted Northern Flickers can interbreed and produce what is called an Intergrade Flicker. So if this is one of those “in-betweens”, she has wandered, way way way out of her range!

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5 thoughts on “She’s Back!

    • no problem!

      the block of wood is a suet feeder that we made ourselves — there are holes drilled them so that suet (a whitish mixture of animal fat, with fruit/nut/seed embedded in it) can be pushed into each of them. as you can see, the hole that the woodpecker has been poking its bill into is mostly empty! 🙂

      the suet is a good food source for birds that do not migrate to warmer places in the winter.

      you’ll also see several notches cut into the block itself — these are for birds to latch their claws into as they gather the suet. hope this helps!

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  1. She is beautiful. We had one at our suet feeders today and was the first time I had ever seen one face to face-well through the kitchen window. I took photos. Ours do not have the blue that yours does but more of a yellow but is definitely a Northern Flicker.

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