Thursday, June 01, 2006

A New Flicker

Just after I had happened upon the Chickadees in Belfair, I headed back to the car and passed an open yard littered with Robins. Hopping in a different manner than the Robins was another pair of birds.

I tried to get a closer look and they flew up into a nearby tree and began some sort of either territorial or other display with one another.

Red-shafted Flicker

They bobbed and squawked at one another for a few minutes before heading off to the brushy edges of the yard.

The best part about this find was that these would be my first 'red-shafted' Northern Flickers. Here in the East I have only previously found the 'yellow-shafted' variety. Unlike the yellow-shafted, I couldn't usually see the red in the wings unless the birds were in flight. We found many in the days ahead.

Many near our house show the yellow on the edges of the wings and in the tail area even when stationary. Compare the red-shafted on this page to the yellow-shafted ones at my other web site.

Another distinguishing feature is that the yellows have a red patch on the nape of the neck and the reds have red "whiskers" on the face.

The most important factor, of course, is location. Reds stay in the Western U.S. and the Yellows stay in the East.

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