Beautiful Northern Flicker in East Garafraxa, Ontario, Canada

by Kathryn Rosati
(East Garafraxa, Ontario, Canada)

We recently moved to a new house in East Garafraxa, Ontario, Canada, and on June 17, 2015 I decided to take a break from cleaning and unpacking to eat my lunch outside. I grabbed a small step stool and sat on the patio, surrounded by gardens, eating my sandwich. Suddenly a type of bird I had never seen before landed in the garden in front of me. I was memorized as I was fortunate to have a 'birds eye view' to study the beautiful, rather large bird roaming and pecking in the garden. I continued to eat my sandwich as the bird moved about. The red upside down triangular marking on the back of the bird's neck was what first fascinated me. I then really studied the bird and admired the speckled under body and then discovered the black marked area on the chest, as if it was wearing a black bra. The bird hung around for a couple of minutes and then flew off. To my delight, the bird had another surprise for my enjoyment by displaying a flash of white on its rear once the wings were lifted in flight. What a beauty. The bird was spectacular in every regard. It seemed not to be frightened by my presence as it busied itself pecking in the soil and around the rocks.

Later in the day I searched in Google by requesting the name of a bird with a red triangle at the back of the neck and was pleased to see a picture of the type of bird I witnessed in our garden earlier that day, and to discover that it was called the Northern Flicker, and a woodpecker at that, which eats ants. My father, who lives in Sharon, Ontario is battling an ant infestation on his patio and said he would like to have a Northern Flicker or two hang out in his garden!

I sure hope my Northern Flicker sighting will not be an isolated occurrence. Although I was not fortunate enough to take my own picture of the bird I have now placed my camera close to the patio area in case the opportunity to snap a shot presents itself.

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