Northern Flicker


With their yipping and drumming on on tress and metal chimney tops the Northern Flickers have announced their arrival. Full of color and wonderful patterns they add another dose of color to a season already gaining color each and every day.

62 thoughts on “Northern Flicker

    1. Hi and lucky you to have a nice pair hanging around. This spring we seem to have a fair amount although last year it felt like less than usual so I am glad they have returned.

      1. You must have brought me luck because I saw one yesterday afternoon while experimenting with shooting video.

        Although I only got a few seconds of poor quality video, I was very happy to see one a few days after talking about it here.

        1. Well I will take credit for bringing you luck but I suspect it was your hard work and persistence with photography, video and just taking time to be out there that did the trick. Have you seen any Grackles since? They are here in force this week.

          1. I spotted the northern flicker while shooting video of a red-bellied wood pecker moving up up a tree limb. It hopped out of frame and in my attempts to find it again, I spotted the northern flicker.

            Only a mere two seconds of video, but it felt nice to see one.

            I’ve been seeing grackles lately in this large grassy field that I frequent, they are usually mingling with cow birds and robins in the late afternoon.

            A couple of times, they were flocked together in sizable enough groups that it made me suspect that I was looking at a group that were intransit to breeding grounds up further north.

          2. Hi Chris, sounds like fun. Are you able to extract still frames of a high quality from you video? If so, what software is required.

            In town here we only have Downy Heads and Flickers so seeing a red-bellied would be a treat for me.

    1. Hi Liz, although I love seeing these guys the sounds they make a a big part of the enjoyment, especially the pecking on metal…as long as it it not your chimney at 6am. Have a great weekend.

      1. Kit Dunsmore

        We’re having thunderstorms, but in the breaks, the birds are hitting the feeders hard. It looks like the female red-winged blackbirds are back in town.

    1. Hi and thanks for the feedback. I agree that it sure if fun having a Flicker or two hanging around. It seems that they come and go throughout the spring/summer and sometimes the trees in our area are full of flickers and sometimes they are absent.

  1. I love the shades of grey of the branch and the corresponding colors of this bird – accentuated with the red spots. Jealous again. 😉 And full of awe. And I hope I don’t spoil your day and be too negative when I say, that I really hope no one ever steals your wonderful photos and sells them as their own. You could publish an own book with them. No flattery intended, just saying. 🙂

      1. Hmm, yes, an option maybe, though if someone wants to steal it they will just remove the watermark. I tried something similar at first, maybe you noticed, just adding my site title to the photos, but it’s additional work and when you want to use the photo somewhere else, you’ll have to remove the signature again (= work again), so I quit doing that after a while.
        With watermarks it’s always the problem that they are often all over the photo and “destroy” the photo sometimes, in my opinion. I guess you can never be sure – once it’s online, it’s “out there” and public, no chance to control that.
        But even worse are those databases where you can store your photos (like F….r) and I heard they sell your pics without any notice. Not fair.

        1. Overall it seems like photography in general has been democratized in every way these days and those photos that are sold are not really that great, although they can be, but they are marketed and have some “famous” photographers behind it. This democratization is not just having a cell phone in hand and taking a crappy photo and posting it online it is the tools are in everyones hands to be creative and a larger percentage of people are finding out they can be creative and that is a very good thing.

          1. That’s true and I completely agree on the point that the democratization of photography is a good thing as it allows people to express their creativity in new ways.
            But what I don’t like is companies taking advantage of it. But I know that’s a futile complaint.

          2. I guess I never thought of a corporation swiping a photo. Not out of the question is it. 🙂

            I guess I might have to flattered if I walking into a corporate office and saw some of my photos decorating the walls or perhaps into a hotel room and see one above my bed. 🙂

          3. Ah yes, of course I would be flattered too. 🙂
            But I rather mean, online photo community platforms which sell the photos of their users without their knowledge (despite license options every user has). Making profit from their creativity. I lack the moral aspect in many of today’s businesses. 🙂

  2. Mike,

    Answering your question from above… Yes, it is possible to extract still images from your video. Final Cut Pro for Mac and the Adobe Premier Pro suite can do it.

    Also, there are a few freeware tools that can do it too. Funny you should mention this, but I was on the bank of the Gunpowder River filming a loon when a fish jumped in the background.

    My camera caught a couple of frames of the jump, and in one you could make out the gills of the fish, but it wouldn’t have made an impressive still.

    It did give me an idea that I have yet to try. I wonder would happen if I tossed a cricket in the water and then got a tight focus on it and started shooting video in hopes of a fish hitting it.

    I’m sure it is one of those ideas that you’d have to try countless times before it produced even a mediocre shot.

    However, that is just the kind of dumb thing I like to try. I think capturing a fish jump would be very satisfying if it worked.

    1. Thanks Chris, sounds like I need to give filing a try one of these days.

      I think you are on to something with you idea an probably a secret tool of the trade for wildlife filming in general.

feedback welcome

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