Northern Flicker

SCraig

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I had never heard of this bird until I saw one and looked it up, but apparently they are resident around here. They are basically ground-bound Woodpeckers and prefer to spend their lives on or close to the ground digging for bugs in tree roots. That's exactly what this one was doing, and the fried background in the last one is a concrete sidewalk that was right behind him.

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He flew right by me, and the only glimpse I got was that red "V" on the back of his neck. When I looked over and saw him the first thought that came into my mind was Timothy Olyphant in the movie "Hitman" with the barcode tattooed on the back of his neck ;)
 

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DarkShadow

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Nice Shot! My Northern Flicker shot does not have the black marking on the face.I caught mine when he/she swooped down landed on the side of a tree and pick up a insect.It was gone before my eye left the view finder and I haven not seen any since.
 
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SCraig

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Nicely captured Scott!

Thanks, Charlie and John. I appreciate it.

Nice Shot! My Northern Flicker shot does not have the black marking on the face.I caught mine when he/she swooped down landed on the side of a tree and pick up a insect.It was gone before my eye left the view finder and I haven not seen any since.

It's odd, I looked up some statistics on this bird and the estimated population worldwide (which is, in effect, only the USA and into Mexico) is about 16,000,000 but I've never seen one. I'd remember that bright red "V" on the back of the neck.

You probably saw a female since they apparently don't have the black or red markings.

Nice set. I particularly like #3. The mark under his eye/next to his beak reminds me of the blackout baseball players wear.

Good point, Timothy ;) I didn't think of that but you're right.

Thanks for the comments, guys.
 

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Thanks scott.I would love to see more of them,they are a beautiful bird.
 

JacaRanda

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My wife just looked it up in our So Calif birding book and indeed we have them here. It's like a cross between a large Woodpecker and a Roadrunner.

Nice shots you have captured! Did you use the Sigma 150-500?
 

kundalini

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Your shots are far better than what I've been able to catch. I have a few that visit my suet feeder and don't seem to mind the black oiled sunflower seeds either. Northern Flickers are like most other woodpeckers for being quite skittish. They have a funny way of checking out the surrounds completely before moving on to the next perch.


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Back of Head

The White Rump
 
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SCraig

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Thanks scott.I would love to see more of them,they are a beautiful bird.
I would to! This was a new one for me but I'll watch out for them. I read that they love the edges between fields and woods where they can find bugs, and generally stay close to the ground.

Edit ... There are two subspecies, "Red Shafted" and "Yellow Shafted" which denotes the color of the feathers under their tails. Look closely in #3 and you can see that this guy has yellow feathers on the bottom of his tail so he is a Yellow Shafted Norther Flicker.

Love number 3! Nice job!

Thanks, Kris. I like the shot but hate the background. He was under some low limbs on a tree and there was a concrete walkway and then a lake behind him. No way to get him even close to properly exposed without blowing the background. Sometimes we take what we are given ;)

My wife just looked it up in our So Calif birding book and indeed we have them here. It's like a cross between a large Woodpecker and a Roadrunner.

Nice shots you have captured! Did you use the Sigma 150-500?
Uh, wait a minute ... yep, it was the 150-500. I had to look because I wasn't real sure. I switched to my 70-300 to walk around the park but couldn't remember if it was before or after I saw him ;)

Apparently their range is the entire USA year round. I'll be watching for them now since I do agree that they are really interesting little critters.

Thanks for the comments everyone. Much appreciated.
 
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SCraig

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Your shots are far better than what I've been able to catch. I have a few that visit my suet feeder and don't seem to mind the black oiled sunflower seeds either. Northern Flickers are like most other woodpeckers for being quite skittish. They have a funny way of checking out the surrounds completely before moving on to the next perch.

I had just gotten out of my truck and was walking around to the back to open the rear gate when this guy blasted right in front of me. All I saw was that patch of red on the back of his head. He landed under a low bush and I got a couple of shots, then he hopped a bit closer and I got a couple more, then he hopped under the low tree where I got the third shot. Each time he stopped he did seem to take a thorough look around to see what was going on.

These were taken in a city park so I guess he lives there. There are lots of birds and they get fed constantly so he may somewhat accustomed to people being around. He wasn't to afraid of me, but after a few minutes he finally decided enough was enough and headed across the lake. The last shot was taken at 7.08 meters according to the EXIF data. It was most assuredly the closest I've ever gotten to any species of woodpecker.
 

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