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Normcar Jun 21, 2004 9:47 PM

I photographed this bird today in the same area that I photographed the Flicker in my last post. And the same Flicker was around at this time as well. However, this bird looks different for some reason. Perhaps it's just the natural environment and ruffled feathers? I don't know. This one just looks wilder or something and the colors don't look exactly the same. Could this be another kind of Flicker, or the male where the other was a female? I don't recall that brightness of red on the other Flicker and I definitely see a difference in the ruffled texture.

Another view from the side.This bird was a long ways off so I apologize if it isn't quite sharp enough.

And a view from behind. It didn't sit around for very long so these are all the shots I got. That's another thing about this one that seemed different, it wasn't as hospitable as the "other" Flicker (if this is indeed a Flicker at all). This one even "acted" wilder. I really like the brilliant red on the back of it's head.

Man, this can't be a Flicker, can it?

Eric CAN Jun 21, 2004 9:58 PM

Sure is a Northern one;)

I can see you were quite far from him, I've yet to catch a decent one of the wood knocker.

I prefer the first one :-)

Normcar Jun 21, 2004 10:07 PM

Thanks Eric, can you tell me if this one is a male, female?

Eric CAN Jun 21, 2004 10:13 PM

I think its a male, more vivid colors. I've seen one before, took few shots... But it was like 100 feet from me, and it was not that colorfull. Must have been a female


geoffs Jun 21, 2004 11:30 PM

Norm, you've captured some photos of the Northern Flicker, yellow-shafted variety. You can tell it is a male because of the black whisker on the side of the jaw to the rear of his bill - this whisker is not present in females. This is called the Yellow-shafted Flicker because the feathers on the undersides of the wings are yellow and easily discerned when it is flying. You can see a hint of the yellow color at the edges of the feathers at the tips of his wings and tail in your photos.

There is a red-shafted variety of the flicker (yep - red under the wings and tail) that occurs south of you in southern Alberta. Also, the red-shafted males have a red whisker instead of the black one, and also don't have red on the back of their necks.

I like the first photo too, but for identification purposes all the views are valuable to have.

eric s Jun 22, 2004 12:00 PM

If you want to see an example of the yellow feathers on the side of the wing, you can see them more clearly in the shot I got (and I think posted) awhile back.

Here is a larger version of the same picture:

This shot is actually reduced a fair amount. I was walking back from shooting an osprey and turned to see this guy on the tree right next to me. Some days you get lucky (well, there was some skill in that I had enough time to take 3 shots before it flew away... didn't even get to setup my tripod, just put the legs stright down and shot.)

Nice shot, Flickers are beautiful birds. I didn't know there was a red shafted flicker. Learn something new every day.


Normcar Jun 23, 2004 1:51 PM

geoffs, thanks, someone in another forum suggested that the feathers appear ruffled because it may have just come from a little "dip" in the water, which is a distinct possibility, since that tree is about 3 yards from a lake.

Very nice shot eric, thanks for sharing.

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