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Northern Flicker


Northern Flicker
Photo Information
Copyright: PETER TAMAS (sirianul) Silver Note Writer [C: 0 W: 0 N: 509] (3544)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-03-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, Canon 500mm f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/8, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-04-01 8:36
Viewed: 2079
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Northern Flickers are large, brown woodpeckers with a gentle expression and handsome black-scalloped plumage. On walks, don’t be surprised if you scare one up from the ground. It’s not where you’d expect to find a woodpecker, but flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill. When they fly you’ll see a flash of color in the wings – yellow if you’re in the East, red if you’re in the West – and a bright white flash on the rump.
Flickers are fairly large woodpeckers with a slim, rounded head, slightly downcurved bill, and long, flared tail that tapers to a point.

Color Pattern
Flickers appear brownish overall with a white rump patch that’s conspicuous in flight and often visible when perched. The undersides of the wing and tail feathers are bright yellow, for eastern birds, or red, in western birds. With a closer look you’ll see the brown plumage is richly patterned with black spots, bars, and crescents.
Behavior
Northern Flickers spend lots of time on the ground, and when in trees they’re often perched upright on horizontal branches instead of leaning against their tails on a trunk. They fly in an up-and-down path using heavy flaps interspersed with glides, like many woodpeckers.

Habitat
Look for flickers in open habitats near trees, including woodlands, edges, yards, and parks. In the West you can find them in mountain forests all the way up to treeline.
Cool Facts
•Although it can climb up the trunks of trees and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to find food on the ground. Ants are its main food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants.
•The red-shafted and yellow-shafted forms of the Northern Flicker formerly were considered different species. The two forms hybridize extensively in a wide zone from Alaska to the panhandle of Texas. A hybrid often has some traits from each of the two forms and some traits that are intermediate between them. The Red-shafted Flicker also hybridizes with the Gilded Flicker, but less frequently.
•The Northern Flicker is one of the few North American woodpeckers that is strongly migratory. Flickers in the northern parts of their range move south for the winter, although a few individuals often stay rather far north.
•Northern Flickers generally nest in holes in trees like other woodpeckers. Occasionally, they’ve been found nesting in old, earthen burrows vacated by Belted Kingfishers or Bank Swallows.
•Like most woodpeckers, Northern Flickers drum on objects as a form of communication and territory defense. In such cases, the object is to make as loud a noise as possible, and that’s why woodpeckers sometimes drum on metal objects. One Northern Flicker in Wyoming could be heard drumming on an abandoned tractor from a half-mile away.
•The oldest known “yellow-shafted” Northern Flicker lived to be at least 9 years 2 months old, and the oldest “red-shafted” Northern Flicker lived to be at least 8 years 9 months old.

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Critiques [Translate]

Peter..this is EXCELLENT, just look at what you captured, those feathers, pure beauty. The lighting and sky background, him resting on the branch with such clarity, well done my friend

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2012-04-01 14:13]

Hi Peter
everything looks perfect: bg, dof, sharpness, compo, catchlight ...
tfs
Tom

Hi Peter,

Sharp image, nice framing, appropriated smearing BG. A cute eye contact. Cheers,

TFS,
Subhayan.

Hi, Peter
Awesome work here - everything is just perfect, from the subtleties of colour and detail to the beautifully uncluttered branch and background. A lovely portrait of this attractive species.
Best wishes, Nigel.

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