Backyard Bird with Inverted Black Triangle on Breast

by Pat
(Seattle, WA)

I believe that I have seen both male and females of this critter. Saw the male in late winter - early spring in Seattle. Beautifully colored of medium size with sharp elongated beak. I cannot remember the details except that it had an inverted black triangle on its breast. It started on my fence, dropped down to the grass and flew away from there.

Over this weekend I think I saw the female. This bird was similar in size and beak description but it lacked the coloring of the earlier bird. Seemed to be either a pale tan color or very light olive greenish. Most striking characteristic is the inverted black triangle on the breast. AND, when it flew away the underside of its wings was a beautiful pale orange. This one was perching on the top of my neighbors garage roof. Took off very quickly.

Would love to know what this bird is. Thanks for any suggestions!

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Aug 21, 2014
by: Judy-Seattle

Hi Pat- I live in Renton . What you're seeing is a Northern Flicker woodpecker. They are very common in our area. The males have a red patch/streak on either side of its beak. The female don't have it. Both have black spots on their breast. In the spring the males like to perch of top of roofs or especially on metal objects like vent covers and rapidly "drill" with their peaks to attract mate. This often wakes me up early in the morning. If you search for " flickers" on this website, you'll find several photos of them.

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