Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I’ve had a family group of Common Flickers hanging around for a couple of weeks. They’ve been making extensive use of my woodpecker tree. Here’s an adult male. The black bib is displayed by both sexes. The black area extending from the base of the bill is a male characteristic often described as a mustache. Looks more like a try at mutton chops to me.

Small bib, poorly developed facial hair and fuzz-ball head distinguish this as a young male. Flickers seem to enjoy posing for the camera.

The female has no black facial markings. Otherwise, she looks like the male. Flickers spend a lot of time foraging on the ground and this is the first time I’ve had them in a position to get some typical woodpecker poses.

They all have the traditional red woodpecker cap, as displayed by this youngster.

They seemed to be finding plenty to eat. At least they swallowed a lot of things that I assumed were insects.

They were seldom still and constantly paid attention to everything going on around them. They also chattered continually and displayed quite a large vocabulary. My universal translator is out for repairs, so I don’t know what they were talking about.

Here’s a part of the woodpecker tree with three Flickers in the picture. I think the tree will provide woodpecker food for several more years.

Flicker right spent a lot of time digging for something in the saddle between these two branch stubs. Flicker left watched the excavation, but never went down to investigate.


  1. ...I've never had a Flicker pose that nicely for me! It must have been fun watching the little family grow up!

  2. I enjoyed this post a lot, Steve. Woodpeckers in general are such neat birds. Our universal translator is on the fritz, too, but for all the migrants in our woods who will soon be heading south, we are assuming they are shouting out directions for the best way to get to their wintering grounds (and that the kids are saying that they want to stop at Disney World!).

  3. Kelly and Heather - I'm glad you enjoyed this post. I had a lot of fun watching this bunch and taking the photos.