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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1.14- "Capt. Cecil" and Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker

"Captain Cecil," tied up stern-to at the Garland Fulcher Seafood Co. docks on Raccoon Creek
Captain Cecil was tied stern-to the docks while crew pulled out, straightened and re-wound her warp cables this afternoon.

As you can see, all was calm in the creek, and yesterday's rain and clouds have departed.

Can anyone help me identify these birds?
Please drop me a comment or e-mail if you can help!

[OK, thanks to Keith Bruno and Raf for identifying this bird for me!]

I saw these two birds by the roadside in Minnessot Beach today, and was only able to grab about three drive-by shots of them...

One is seen flying away, while the other waited warily for me to pass by. I looked through my NatGeo Birds of North America guide, to no avail... (I need to find my Peterson's Guide)

[UPDATE: Keith Bruno dropped me a note identifying this as a "a flicker, possibly the yellow shafted variety"... Then, while I was writing this update, Raf from Port Townsend, WA dropped me a comment to the same effect... Yes indeedy, my NatGeo guide does have an illustration and description of the very bird as a Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus), "Yellow-shafted" variety... I had not looked carefully through the Woodpecker section because I spotted these birds hanging out on the ground, which seemed unlikely woodpecker behavior... various internet sources confirm that the Flicker, unlike other woodpeckers, forages on the ground for ants and such...

As the NatGeo guide describes them: "Two distinct groups occur: "Yellow-shafted Flicker" in the east and far north, and "Red-shafted Flicker" in the west.... brown, barred back; spotted underparts, with black crescent bib. White rump is conspicuous in flight [see my flight photo below]... "Yellow-shafted Flicker" has yellow wing lining and undertail color..."

Another new one for my life list and my photo life list, Yay!]


1 comment:

raf said...

Guessing, but looks like the common "yellow-shafted" flicker according to my Audubon handbook. :)

Great silhouette shot of the shrimp trawler at the dock!