|Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted)|
Flickers are one of my favorite birds and fortunately for me they have been in almost every location that I have lived in. I grew up with the yellow-shafted Northern Flicker here in New England but became familiar with the red-shafted variety when I moved to the west. Later I moved to Arizona where I was able to see the rarer Gilded Flicker that lives in Saguaro Cactus. When I went to the bog to count birds on April 3rd as part of my eBird Site Survey I was surprised when a Northern Flicker landed on the guardrail behind me and started drumming!
|Sitting on guardrail.|
You may wonder why a woodpecker would hammer on something so hard and impervious. Obviously it is not trying to get food or drill a hole for a nest. Well, most woodpeckers drum to establish their territory. It is telling the other birds that this is where I live, so you'd better stay away. What surprised me was that I was at the bog for 2 1/2 hours and the flicker was there on the guardrail drumming the whole time! If a car went by it would fly away, but then return to start drumming again. I was busy counting birds and it took me awhile to figure out why...
|Drumming on guardrail.|
|Look this way...|
|Look that way...|
|Just listen to these guys hammering!|
|I can do it too!|
I wish I could have told him he has nothing to worry about from these guys!
You can read the whole story of my morning at the bog by clicking on the link: Signs of Spring at the Bog