A Flicker of Gold

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

I have longed to capture one of the most beautiful and amazing sights from several years ago when I was birding in the old Daley Bicentennial Plaza. A Northern (Golden-Shafted) Flicker flew right over my head and I was absolutely stunned by the shining gold of its spread wings. I never again wondered about the origin of the name “Golden-Shafted.”

Golden-Shafted Flicker

Golden-Shafted Flicker

Sunday morning at the Chicago Portage, I encountered what may have been a family group of Northern Flickers and spent time observing them. Individually Flickers can be pretty shy, so I was not about to pass up this opportunity. Although I was not able to get one to repeat my earlier experience, I did manage to capture a glimpse or two of the golden shafts, albeit from the back side.

Checking to make sure they left nothing behind?

Checking to make sure they left nothing behind?

Earlier this spring, a pair of Flickers spent much time discussing the nesting possibilities of this same dead stump. I never managed to check to see if they used it for that purpose but I imagine they did, their nesting experience was a successful one, and now they are reluctant to leave.

NOFL Portage 9-7-14-4865

Sometimes that white rump speeding away from me is all I will see of one of these birds. The light is rarely so fortunate to capture all this color.

NOFL Portage 9-7-14-4943

By the photo below, I now think the Flickers may have been attracted to this stump because they can blend in so well with it.

NOFL Portage 9-7-14-4864

More will follow eventually from Sunday’s excursion, in a subsequent post.


11 thoughts on “A Flicker of Gold

    • Thanks, H.J.! I hear them more often than I see them so this was kind of a bonanza moment. I usually see only one, maybe two, if any at all. But I suspect it was a family group like the Red-Headed Woodpeckers from Chautauqua. Hope there’s a Northern Flicker on its way to you 🙂

    • Thanks, Bob! I am not sure I’ve ever seen the Red-Shafted Flicker yet. The way things are going with birds turning up in unusual places, I better start studying it. 🙂

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