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Northern Flickers

Hey, there are birds in my front yard too. I'm accustomed to Robins digging in the front lawn for worms, but this is the first time I've seen this pair.

I believe them to be Red-Shafted Northern Flickers.

Those with more knowledge than I have believe the male is a hybrid Northern red-shafted Flicker and a Northern yellow-shafted Flicker

Northern Flicker



Your flickers seem very gray compared to the ones I've seen. Any chance this is a subspecies?

My "experts" didn't say anything about a sub-species. It could just be the time of the year when you observe them. Where do you live? There is a sub-species the Yellow-Shafted, it's found in the Eastern U.S., but the red by the beak is black. A black malar rather than red.


I'm in the coast range in NW Oregon so it's likely we share a lot of the same visitors. But the gray was so strong compared to flickers around here that I did some digging. I thought the gold trim on the wings might make it a visitor from NM or AZ. Part of the fun of birding is this kind of digging. And, let me chime in, your pix are really fine. I enjoy seeing the new ones you post.

Well, as you know I'm quite new at this, and don't know what I'm talking about at least half the time, but I'm trying to learn. I posted a picture of a ratty little bird, I think he'd been bathing and couldn't get anyone to commit to an ID on a local mailing list there are so many subtle variations in birds that it's often hard to tell. Here he is give it a go, identify this bird. I saw him at the Great Salt Lake Shoreline Preserve

Oh and a birder here in Utah thinks mine may be a hybrid of some kind.

And thanks for the kind words about the photos. I do get a fair amount of flack for posting the pictures, though since I always post what interests me as long as I find the birds interesting I'll continue to include bird posts in the mix.

Here is another view of them under a Spruce the background makes their color appear a little different.

Well, the more knowledgable on the Utah Birdtalk list are weighing in, they think it's a hybrid a cross between a Northern red-shafted Flicker and a Northern yellow-shafted Flicker

The undersides of the wing and tail feathers are bright yellow, for eastern birds, or red, in western birds.

BEAUTIFUL pic. How cool that you got the pair standing together like that!

I've been really lucky getting great poses like this one. Maybe they know I'm a beginning birder and are cutting me some slack.

Further checking leads me to believe it is a Red-Shafted Northern Flicker

Norm, I'm pretty sure that I've shared this poem by Ogen Nash with you before, but it is so apropos..

Bird watchers top my honors list.

I aimed to be one, but I missed.

Since I'm both myopic and astigmatic,

My aim turned out to be erratic,

And I, bespectacled and binocular,

Exposed myself to comment jocular.

We don't need too much birdlore, do we,

To tell a flamingo from a towhee;

Yet I cannot, and never will,

Unless the silly birds stand still.

And there's no enlightenment in a tour

Of ornithological literature.

Is yon strange creature a common chickadee,

Or a migrant alouette from Picardy?

You can rush to consult your Nature guide

And inspect the gallery inside,

But a bird in the open never looks

Like its picture in the birdie books-

Or if it once did, it has changed its plumage,

And plunges you back into ignorant gloomage.

That is why I sit here growing old by inches,

Watching a clock instead of finches,

But I sometimes visualize in my gin

The Audubon that I audubin.

In Alabama, we call those yellowhammers (state bird).

I love Northern Flickers. I live in Northern Virginia, so I see the yellow-shafted variety. These are lovely specimens. Great picture. Thanks for sharing.


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