More on Flickers!

by Judy Ranson
(nr Seattle, WA)

Male red-shafted flicker

Male red-shafted flicker

Male red-shafted flicker Female red-shafted flicker

I love our Flicker guests. We live near Seattle, WA and have red-shafted flickers year round. They love our suet cakes and even hang onto the hanging feeder meant for small birds. We fill that feeder with a 'no-waste' bird seed that is mostly shelled sunflower seeds and peanuts. These photos show a male red-shafted flicker with its red moustache and a female red-shafted flicker without the red moustache. You can clearly see the salmon red feathers under her tail.



The first flicker that I ever saw had both a red-mustache and the red patch on back of its head. It was laying on the road (probably flew into a car). I thought the red patch was blood. But when I picked him up, I saw it was red feathers. After a few minutes, it recovered and flew into the trees. My bird book said that sometimes the yellow and red-shafted inter-breed. So he must have been a hybrid.



Comment

Great photos, Judy! By comparing your photos to the previous ones by Gigi, it is easy to see the difference between the Yellow-shafted and your Red-shafted flickers.
Susan

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Jun 04, 2012
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Flickers can be messy eaters
by: Anonymous

We love flickers too, but wow can they empty a feeder fast. I've seen one clean out a half gallon feeder of sunflower oil seeds in 15 minutes. They toss the oil seeds in a veritable shower, apparently looking for those few seed kernels with no shells. Of course the chipmunks and squirrels love them for this!

Feb 24, 2011
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More on Flickers
by: Judy

Fred, our red-shafted flickers have a salmon red hue underneath their wings and tail when they fly. The first flicker I ever saw was a cross between the two varieties. It had a red mustache as well as the red-patch behind its head.

Feb 15, 2011
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Northern flickers
by: Anonymous

Hi Judy,
that was a good article about the flicker. I too have become very fond of that flicker . He just stands out in a crown and his flight is really stunning. In flight the Northern flicker seems to have a golden cast to his under feathers and the bib and the red just looks so sophisticated compared to the other birds out there.

Fred

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