Before one lucky sighting this past June, I had only seen images of the beautiful Northern Flicker via the web. I believe this is one of the most attractive birds among the Woodpecker species. I didn't think I'd ever be fortunate enough to actually see one...
However, good fortune brought me the opportunity to watch this male Northern Flicker as he foraged around in our front yard for insects. He didn't hang around for long, only a couple of minutes, but that was all I needed to get a few quick shots of him. The images below are heavily cropped because he was quite a distance from me and I didn't approach him for fear of scaring him off. When he did decide to take off, I got a glimpse of his underside feathers, a beautiful bright yellow- absolutely stunning in flight!
Adult male yellow-shafted Northern Flickers can be easily identified by their black malar (or moustache) which is absent in the female. Flickers appear brownish overall with a white rump patch that’s conspicuous in flight and often visible when perched. The undersides of the wing and tail feathers are bright yellow, for eastern birds, or red, in western birds. With a closer look you’ll see the brown plumage is richly patterned with black spots, bars, and crescents.
Although it can climb up the trunks of trees and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to find food on the ground. Ants are its main food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants. They also eat fruits and seeds, especially in winter.
Linked with Stewart at Wild Bird Wednesday,
Thank You for hosting this great meme, Stewart!