I was pretty sure I saw a northern flicker foraging for food on someone’s lawn the other day. When the bird flew up into the branches of a nearby tree I was sure: northern flickers have highly-visible, tell-tale, white patches on their rumps and I got a good look at the bird’s rump as it made its short flight.
When I think of woodpeckers, I think of birds who scramble up and down tree trunks. I don’t think of woodpeckers poking around lawns. But northern flickers are not your usual sort of woodpecker and that is indeed what they do.
The bird perched on one of the lower-hanging branches of a very tall American beech tree. The leaves had not yet begun to change color, but the branches were loaded with spiky beech nuts and the ground was covered with their shells. It looked like squirrels had been having quite a feast!
My hooves crunched over the empty beech nut shells. The northern flicker must have felt safe up above me because it did not fly away, but the bird did keep a careful eye on me as I got closer and closer. Pretty soon I was right under the northern flicker. I got a great look at its lovely, polka-dotted belly and I could see the yellow-colored underside of its tail. What a beauty!