July 15, 2014

Northern Flicker

I spied a Flicker in the backyard the other day.  I find them strikingly beautiful.
Notice there's lots of white clover flowering in our yard right now too.  The bumblebees are reveling in it.
While Flickers live in hollow trees in woodland areas, the bulk of their diet consists of ants, which brings them to the yard.  They dig for ants with their nifty curved bill, hammering at the soil the way other woodpeckers drill into wood.
The insect diet of Flickers plays an important role in the control of insects pests.  They eat more ants than any other bird species in North America.
I'm happy to see them feasting on anthills.  Less ants raiding our strawberries nearby!






Ours' are the yellow shafted variety, very flashy in flight.  
Off he goes.

They're only here in Minnesota for the summer.  (Unlike other woodpeckers, who winter with us, too.)
Flickers are common, widespread across the continent, but I read that their populations have been steadily declining for several years.    
Are there Flickers where you are?

Sharing with Stewart's Wild Birds around the world today.

18 comments:

  1. The flicker looks so lovely in the clover! And what a magical shot of it flying away...

    ReplyDelete
  2. No We do not have this lovely bird in the UK. These are great shots you got of it and he looks like he is doing a great job of getting rid of the ants.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome shots of the Flicker.. They are beautiful birds.. I see them here but not often.. Have a happy day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gorgeous photos Amanda! I haven't seen one in years. I'll have to ask my dad if he has seen any recently.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, we have a great number of Northern Flickers around here. When I was putting out suet feeders, I watched one that came often finally bring her baby to teach it how to get suet from the feeder. They are beautiful birds indeed. I didn't know that they are declining, but their shrinking habitat must be the reason. :-(

    ReplyDelete
  6. i love them, too! we get them down here but not nearly as prevalent as the downies and red-bellies. great shots!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have only had flickers in the last couple of years. Didn't realize they were going after ants. Thought they were grub eaters. You got some great shots of your summer visitor.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We're fortunate to have a pair of Northern Flickers that come to our feeders on a regular basis. You got some wonderful pictures. I also like the photo of him taking off.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, we have Flickers too.. here in Canada where I am ... they dig up ants near our sidewalks as well...I cheer them on... They look like this guy...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful photos of the Northern Flicker... Surprised you don't have them year round up there... We have them year round here --and they do come to the suet feeders especially in winter and summer... Guess they are busy having babies in Spring... ha

    Love the yellow parts of their tails...
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  11. You voyeur!!! BUT OH the views you got! What a beautiful bird. Here in Tucson, we have the Red-shafted Northern Flicker...just as beautiful. When I went to visit Maine this past month, I really enjoyed observing these yellow varieties up close. Nice birds!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice photos! Yes, we have flickers here in Oregon. We occasionally see them at our backyard bird feeders.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Beautiful photos of a beautiful bird!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Absolutely beautiful pictures of the Flicker in Clover . . .
    And the final shot of the Take Off with the flash of gold was especially wonderful . . .
    Love "the touch" you give to your posts . . .

    ReplyDelete
  15. Flickers are a favorite of mine.. I love their song... your images are superb!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes we see a few here in Az. but not real often. Don't you love that red on the back of his head!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Such a lovely bird! Is it a kind of woodpecker? Did not even find a translation for it!!! Never seen one over here . How lucky you were to take such amazing pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great pictures - it never occurred to me how much like green woodpeckers this species is. That may be because I have just seen one for the first time in many years!

    Sorry for the much delayed reply - I've been in the UK for a month and I decided to let the blogging take a back seat - normal service will resume very soon!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete