Thursday, February 09, 2006

"Red-Shafted" Flicker

Click on photo to enlarge

This very handsome woodpecker, the "Red-Shafted" Flicker (Colaptes auratus cafer), is a constant presence here in Big Bear and I very much enjoy their "wikka wikka" talk, their high-pitched "klee-yer", and their daily hammering upon steel chimney spark-arresters and power line transformers around the neighborhood.

Flickers are rare among woodpeckers in their love of ants and you will often see them hopping about on the ground in search of this delicacy.

I caught this male (the females look the same but without the red 'malars' on the sides of their faces) at one of our birdbaths this afternoon and photographed it through the double-pane glass of our front picture window.

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Blogger Granny said...

I've always found it interesting that in the rest of the animal kingdom the males wear the finery.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Madcap said...

Whoa! Another bird new to me and what a great close-up! The only thing in my bird-bath these days is dead leaves frozen in the melted snow.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya, Jim! I've never seen a bird like that. What beautiful markings.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent photo. We have the yellow shafted flickers out here in Missouri. I see them fairly often when I bother to look.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Nice photos, Jim. We have the yellow shafted flickers here in the summer, and I've wondered why they are so often seen on roadsides, especially in late summer. They're probably eating ants!

6:45 AM  
Blogger Jim said...


You just haven't seen me in all my finery with my hair down and my beard in braids that's all! ;~)


I consider that flicker photo to be the first good bird photo I've taken. That's the reason I bought the new camera, so I could take pictures like that one, but the birds have been very scarce around Earth Home Garden this winter.


How are you!!
And how's your beautiful New Zealand homestead?
I tried to e-mail you a couple of times but apparently you've changed your e-mail address...


Thanks, I rather like that one myself, and yes the flickers are quite common here too most of the time, but this winter all birds have been a bit scarce around our property.


Thanks, I'm looking forward to spring and all the possibilities for bird, insect and flower photos.

7:02 AM  
Blogger tansy said...

what a gorgeous bird!

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:38 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

Jim - I look forward to the photo

(from one old hippie to another)

11:53 AM  
Blogger LenĂ© Gary said...

Look at that bird! (those were the first words that popped into my little brain when your blog loaded up tonight, Jim)

8:07 PM  
Blogger Norene Griffin said...

i've never seen a flicker. beautiful bird. what a great photo!

7:58 AM  
Blogger Tabor said...

What a great photo!! Throught he window yet. What lense--a telephoto? Or was he that close?

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red shafted refers to the red feather shafts visible in flight. The red patches on the bird pictured are called malars, and while they do occur only on the males, that is not where the name comes from.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Again, thank you all-

And Joe Moby-

Thank you for the information and I'm going to correct my post.

10:28 AM  

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