Fine Feathered Friends – January 26th

Comets and other celestial objects aside, we had another visitor this week.

It was breakfast time, the birds had been fed, and the entire yard was covered with mourning doves, black-eyed juncos, and house wrens. The hummingbirds were at their feeder. And over by the tree was…something new.

It was bigger by about 50% than the mourning doves, a bit smaller than the ravens and crows that are constantly up in the trees.

It started out pecking at the roots of the tree, and when it picked up its head and I saw that short, sharp beak, my first thought was that it was some sort of woodpecker.

The markings on the body were quite distinctive, the black crescent on its chest with the black & white spots across its body.

Not caught in any of the pictures, but when it fluttered its wings there were red markings on the underside of its wings.

It took the Cornell Merlin bird app about half a second to ID this one. It’s a Northern Flicker, the “red-shafted” variety which is found in the western United States. And yes, it is a member of the woodpecker family.

I’ve never seen one before, most certainly not here, but I hope that it liked the bugs it was finding in the tree roots and will hand around! A gorgeous bird!

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