Red-Shafted Flickers Make My Day

Even though I’m not adverse to walking in showers, there are days in the Pacific Northwest when I don’t even consider walking or birding. On those days I’m more apt to sit in the kitchen and watch the feeder or bird bath. Usually the yard is full of Juncos, sparrows and finches. Occasionally I’ll see a flicker but last Wednesday I saw four rather large birds on the telephone pole. Even though the light was poor and the sun was directly behind them, I gradually figured out that it was a small flock of Red-Shafted Flickers.

Needless to say, I ran upstairs and grabbed my camera even though I didn’t expect great shots.

Flickers on Telephone Pole

However, the light gradually improved and they flew to different parts of the yard when they saw me watching them. This female flicker flew to the neighbor’s yard where the light was hitting her from the opposite direction,

female Red-Shafted Flicker

so it was relatively easy to adjust the color in Aperture so the colors approached the colors you might see in the sunshine.

I spent a good part of the morning waiting for them to explore the yard and then fly off, knowing that they would stick around until they had fed at the feeder.

male Red-Shafted Flicker

I didn’t have to wait too long before one of the males tried to land on the feeder.

Flicker trying to land on feeder

It was too dark to shoot at a high shutter speed, so I couldn’t capture the wings in one position, but I was really fond of this shot which shows why they’re called “flickers.”

It’s worth the price and effort of putting out feeders just to watch a flicker hang from the perch,

Flicker handing on feeder

using its tail to brace itself.