I have assigned a particular significance to Northern Flickers. As a children growing up in Vermont, we were all familiar with Robins, Blue Jays, Chickadees and Cardinals. Somewhere along the line I began to pay attention to this big brown woodpecker that would probe the lawn for insects. I thought it was strange for a woodpecker to be pecking something other than wood, yet here was this bird. I began to look for this bird as I would leave the house. That was when I started to pay attention to the different behaviors of birds.
Now many decades later I know that we have American Robins, not all jays that are blue are Blue Jays, and we have Black-capped Chickadees and Northern Cardinals. Oddly enough, it all started with the Northern Flickers. Yet I have never been able to get a decent photo of them.
Today, I’m happy to say that problem has been resolved.
Of course there is the familiar red field mark on the back of the Yellow Shafted sub-species, but I’ve never seen it in detail. All of the guides show it as being flush with the rest of the feathers on the back of the head.
Above is the female, below is the male.
Be sure to visit Wild Bird Wednesday this week!