|Northern (Common) Flicker - Male- Bob Moul|
"During the fall, and again in the spring, like as we speak, they are quite common, and can be spotted in large groups. I led a field trip yesterday, and traveled through the Wah Kan Tah Prairie on the way to visit the Schell-Osage CA. There are large tracts that have been recently burned, and coming back in short green grass. There were somewhere between 80-100 of them feeding mostly on the ground, which is common for this species, and some small trees full of perched flickers as well. They are typically all yellow-shafted."
|Northern (Common) Flicker-Female - Yellow Shafted|
Next we went to our favorite, Allaboutbirds.com from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Their front page of the Northern Flicker has their call, a sound we have heard commonly and had ascribed to our common Red-bellied Woodpecker. Embarrassing!
|Yellow flight feathers and white rump - Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren|
Unlike most woodpeckers, flickers migrate south for the winter. This makes sense for a ground feeding bird whose supply of insect food would become scarce in freezing temperatures and snow. This accounts for Charley's observation of large numbers in spring and fall. Now if I can just recognize them in 6 months!