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Flicker in the Morning

Flicker in the Morning
Photo Information
Copyright: David Robert (Dave) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-02-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: NikonD200, AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm ED
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-02-03 12:42
Viewed: 4287
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
A common ant-eating woodpecker of open areas, the Northern Flicker has two color forms found in different regions. The yellow-shafted form is common across the eastern and northern parts of North America, while the red-shafted form is the one found in the West.
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 favorite 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, and the Gilded Flicker is considered a separate species.
* The Northern Flicker is one of the few North American woodpeckers that is strongly migratory. Flickers in the northern parts of the range move south for the winter, although a few individuals often stay rather far north.

Sex Differences
Male with black or red mustache stripe. Female without mustache stripe, or with brown one.
Info Source

Date Time = 2007-02-03 08:19:33
Exposure Time = 1/250"
F Number = F5.6
Exposure Program = Manual
ISO Speed Ratings = 1600
Focal Length = 400mm
Exif Image Width = 3872
Exif Image Height = 2592

I've had a wonderful lazy morning. My wife gave me breakfast in bed, and I missed a couple of interesting bird shots, because by the time I climbed out of bed and fetched my camera they were gone. So, finally I just placed the camera on the bed. Then the Flicker showed up. He didn't give me many shots, but here is the best I managed.
I had one overexposed area that I replaced with some creative cloning. The workshop shows the origional shot as it came out of the camera w/ no PP.
It seems the yellow-bellied sapsucker has lessened its Bull activities now that the snow is melting.

Thanks for looking!

mikou, Evelynn, blakitan, pgmoni, horia, marhowie, Adanac, scottevers7, jeanpaul, livios, cedryk, tiklod has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To scottevers7: DothanDave 1 02-03 21:53
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Critiques [Translate]

I love these birds, they visit my birdfeeder quite often. I had no idea what they were when I first saw one. Thank you for providing so much information on them. I love your blurred background and the fine detail you've captured. Well done.

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-02-03 13:07]

Hi David.
Excellent capture of this amazing bird.Beautiful colours and fine sharp details.Very nice POV.Composition is maybe much centric,but all the more show through amazing and very interesting blurry background.Diffused lighting gives very nice atmosphere.
Well done,nice work!
TFS and best greetings,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-02-03 13:10]

Hi Dave,
Nice capture made even nicer with your pp work. This is sharp and well composed, though for me it falls into a neither here nor there category when it comes to close-up. In this case I would like to see the whole bird.
Nevertheless its a good shot.
TFS, regards, Ivan

I agree with Ivan, that I would like to see the whole bird...probably because it is such a gorgeous photograph...I want more. The softness throughout the image look like a wonderful watercolor painting. The background is fantastic. I love this picture.

Evelynn : )

tres joli cet oiseau et bonne prise, couleurs nettes et bons détails
super BG

Hi Dave,
Great DoF, well focused, sharp.
Nicely composed picture.
Amazing greyish colors, very aesthetic image.
Nicely framed.
Superb shot.

Ben Lakitan

  • Great 
  • pgmoni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 343 W: 100 N: 637] (2769)
  • [2007-02-03 16:54]

Very good picture, I like the soft colors and the great BG. I for one, prefer this to the brighter image you show in one of the WS.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-02-03 17:34]

Hi Dave

Glad to hear your morning went well (to say the least) ;))
I would like to have some of these but unfortunately my window doesnt offer so much perspective :)
This little flicker looks great!
I really like the pattern on its feathers and especially the spots on the chest. The sharpness is really good and the exposure spot-on.
I saw you WS with the over-exposed section and i think you did great to clone it out.
I would say this is a splendid capture as it is now...although a whole view of the bird would probably be just a little great...but after all...what can you ask more of a photo taken from the bed :)))))))

Cheers, my friend and TFS

Hi Dave,
Beautiful bird, we don't have this species here.
I see you're testing the limits of your ISO range :) Nice results at 1600. Perhaps a tad UE, not much though.
Well done & TFS.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-02-03 19:31]

Hi Dave,
Hope you had pj's on. Great details, colors and post production work. I must thank you too for the great note, it solves a mystery thats been bugging me for awhile. They are eating ants out of the lawn.

Hi Dave,
Greeting from the road trip! Dothan Alabama tonight. I like the composition and framing on the shot. You PP work has really enhanced the final product. Beautiful subtle colors and nice detail.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-02-03 22:46]

Hello Dave

This is an excellent image of this flicker.It has a wonderful airy atmosphere.Excellent POV and DOF.The composition is wonderful.TFS


Bonjour DavidFélicitation pour cette belle photo de ce beau pic flamboyant,les couleurs sont justes et parfaitements exposées ainsi que les détails.. Félicitations pour la belle composition.

Merci et bravo...JP

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2007-02-04 15:55]

David, maybe sharpness could be a little bit better, but this is indeed a very nice shot.

Great composition and pov.

I like pose too.

Excellent view of the flicker - shows the coloring very clearly, even a touch of the red on the back of the neck.

Normally I would be critical of the fact the subject is smack in the center of the image, but in this shot I think you have gotten away with breaking that compositional rule. I love the muted colors and the blurry background. Great detail in the feathers, yet a softness everywhere else that helps the bird stand out in a more or less low contrast situation. Great capture, David!

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2007-02-12 20:05]

Hello Dave,
That's a new species for me! Well composed with nice lighting. Excellent POV too. And nice story behind the picture... lazy shot from the bed :-) Why not! That's a nature photography ;-)
Best greetings!!!

Hello Dave,
I love those birds that I really don't see often. In fact, I saw him only once in a National Park. This is a very nice capture with good details, colors, pose of the bird and beautiful catch light in it eye. This is also well composed. Thanks,

  • Great 
  • RP1 Gold Star Critiquer [C: 154 W: 1 N: 6] (251)
  • [2007-09-29 19:55]

Hi Dave,
Excellent photo of the flicker. Nice POV and good composition. TFS, Roger

  • Great 
  • tiklod Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 290 W: 74 N: 875] (3397)
  • [2007-11-14 11:55]

Hello David,
This is almost colorful bird we have here (number of different colours) but I don't have pictures like this!!! An excellent sharpness and a nice proudly pose for you!
Great shot David :-)
TFS and best regards,


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