John Van de Graaff

By VandeGraaff

Northern Flicker

Early this morning we returned to Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson, and had this Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus). Although flickers are in the woodpecker family, they are the only ones to feed on the ground--thus the setting here is no anomaly.

There are two distinct sub-species: the yellow-shafted and the red-shafted, which respectively have yellow and red under their wings (not normally visible when perched as here). The yellow-shafted flickers are found in the eastern U.S., while the red-shafted, blipped here, are in the west.

This marks the end of our eight days in Arizona; we'll head to the airport shortly for the flight back east. The curious may follow the week starting here--there are seven birds and one glorious Arizona sunset.

Edit: Better late than never: I have a nice image of a yellow-shafted flicker from the east on my website, showing its yellow shafts!

Sign in or get an account to comment.