Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Pair of Northern Flickers

It was a spring like day, with bright sunshine.  In a stop at nearby Brush College City Park, we couldn't overlook hearing the familiar rat-ta-tat-tat of Norther Flicker male trying to impress a female. We have been hearing him during our past three visits.  But today we got to see the next step as they got closer together,  her in a submissive posture, he in a dominating pose.  After examining the image closer when I got home, I noticed another surprising difference.  The male is a Red-Shafted variety, the female is a Yellow-Shafted variety.  Once considered separate species, the Red-Shafted and the Yellow-Shafted are now lumped together as Northern Flickers. The red crescent on the nape of the female was the first clue, and the yellow tail shaft feathers support that idea. The photo below shows the red shaft feathers of the male.


  1. Very informative. All we see is our flickers tag teaming our suet feeders. The dark eyed juncos love cleaning up after them!

  2. Suet is great to feed this time of year. We are enjoying all the birds we get to see that come to eat.

  3. Great job with noticing the details!