Photo of the Day: Northern Flicker

by John Briggs on June 9, 2011

in Blog, Photo of the Day

Northern (Yellow Shafted) Flicker – Colaptes auratus

I am not going to woo you with a photo of a bird with sharp, sparkling eyes. Nor will I pique your interest with a photo that presents a bird with a beak full of insects. As a matter of fact, you can’t see the eyes or beak on this beautiful bird. What you will see is the reason for the name of this bird.

The Yellow-shafted Flicker is the eastern North American subspecies of the Northern Flicker (The Red-shafted Flicker is the western subspecies). The Yellow-shafted Flicker is yellow under the tail and the under wings, and have yellow shafts on their primaries. They have a gray cap, a beige face and a red bar at the nape of their neck. The male has a black mustache.

Bird Photography: Northern Flicker

This particular male Flicker was on a cable that passed over a marsh near Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport, Maine. I watched this bird preen for around five minutes before it flew away into the marsh. Thanks to the excellent light from the early morning sun, the under wing shows how this bird got its name.

The following photo was taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm f/4 L IS lens. Simply click the thumbnail below for a full-sized view. ©2011 John Briggs Photography

Northern (Yellow Shafted) Flicker preening  - male

Northern (Yellow Shafted) Flicker - male

Happy birding!



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