Sharpie Shenanigans

You’ve heard of it, right? That  prank where the first one that falls asleep at a  party wakes up with a sharpie mustache? That’s what I think of when I see a Northern Flicker – only he got a bib and a bunch of polka dots as a bonus!

These woodpeckers are common in Georgia, but uncommon in my backyard, so I was delighted when one stopped in for a visit yesterday afternoon. I wish he had perched where I could have gotten a better picture, one without all the glare, but alas, this was the best I could get.

Northern Flickers are similar in size and appearance to Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and the two can be difficult to tell apart from a distance. But when you can get a closer look, the mustache (only found on the male, which is fitting) and the breast markings are a dead give away. The flicker also has more of a brownish-gray back instead of the black and white checks that the red-bellied displays.

Here in Georgia, the flickers have a bright flash of yellow hidden beneath their wings, which is why they are sometimes referred to as Yellow-shafted Flickers.  You can see a glimpse of it in the picture below. In the west, these birds have a red shaft of color. Wish I could have gotten a picture of one posing with his wings spread open; who knows, maybe he will bless me with a return visit.

Seriously though, doesn’t he look like he has been the victim of some sharpie shenanigans?


About kathydoremus

Wife, mother, daughter, and friend. One who dabbles in writing, thinks in rhyme, and is utterly unable to escape the allure of alliteration:) Amateur nature photographer. A backyard bird watcher, a hiker of non-strenuous trails to waterfalls, and a fan of Atlanta sports teams. Driver of an orange Jeep Renegade who goes by the name of Earl. One who is nourished by silence, solitude, and a good cup of coffee. A lover of God’s Word and the riches that are hidden there. An extremely ordinary jar of clay who longs to see and be satisfied by the glory of God, and to somehow display that in my everyday life.
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3 Responses to Sharpie Shenanigans

  1. Cute! Flickers are very common in Michigan, also, but are rare visitors to my feeders. I’ve had them a few times in the northwoods. They are very numerous up there. I’m glad this one gave you a visit and sat for you so nicely!

  2. Sue says:

    Gorgeous photos. Nerdy me, I always wonder why the bird has polka dots. Doesn’t that just make the bird stand out to predators?

  3. kathydoremus says:

    Maybe since he hangs out near dead wood that has a lot of holes? I have no idea…
    Do you get the red or yellow shafted variety in Minnesota?

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