Dog knows “leave it.” Human, not so much.

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I’ve been meaning to get some pictures of the small flock of Northern Flickers that has been visiting the back field for a week or so, but instead I got flicker feathers. Picked them up from under the big wild cherry tree about an hour ago.

Radar is the one who found them, in fact. “Bird,” I said. “Leave it. Back up.” He did. Hm, amazing. Is almost 14 months old the age German Shepherds achieve sanity?

A hawk has been hanging around, medium sized, mostly dark brown. That’s who I’m going to peg as the flicker predator.

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Do other people save pretty feathers? Maybe someone I know will want them.

Dear flicker, I’m sorry you died. But your life-force lives on, food for that hawk, and bits of your beauty live on, in this ziplock bag.

Feather ID… CLICK HERE to see a Northern Flicker in flight.

Northern Flicker finally photographed

northern flicker

Backyard bird #41 this morning: a Northern Flicker!

I was heading out on the morning dog walk through the woods to the back field when I scared it up from the ground and snapped a quick photo before it flew off.

Northern Flickers are large, brown woodpeckers with a gentle expression and handsome black-scalloped plumage. On walks, don’t be surprised if you scare one up from the ground. It’s not where you’d expect to find a woodpecker, but flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill. When they fly you’ll see a flash of color in the wings – yellow if you’re in the East, red if you’re in the West – and a bright white flash on the rump.

You can see they are in the woodpecker family when comparing with another morning sighting…

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A male Red-bellied Woodpecker feasts alone (on homemade suet dough) after scaring off the Blue Jay that was here first.