I was going to say every once in awhile, but every once in a winter would be a more accurate description of how often I have a Northern Flicker show up at my feeders. Usually, these wonderful woodpeckers opt for the abundance of available dead tree insect offerings, but on cold winter days they will sometimes drop by for some fast, free, and easy to obtain food – which is what happened this past week.
I had just finished putting out fresh seed (and putting a fresh battery in my camera) when I happened to notice this handsome fellow hanging out at the edge of the yard.
After a few moments, he ventured a bit closer…
…and then, since it wasn’t too chaotic at the time, he landed on the end of the Bark Butter branch.
Then he quickly hopped on over…
…and helped himself to some savory-suety-peanutty-spread.
I have found these beautiful birds to be a bit skittish, perhaps because they are large in size and vibrant in color which might make them a tempting target for a hungry hawk.
This fellow would scoop up some Bark Butter and then nervously glance about to make sure all was still safe.
Once he seemed assured that the coast was clear, it was right back to his regularly scheduled eating.
It was fascinating to watch him use his tongue in the food gathering process.
Now and then, a gust of wind would ruffle his front feathers, momentarily spoiling his well-groomed appearance.
When you really stop to look at him, aren’t his colors and patterns striking?
Once he had eaten his fill, he did the Hokey Pokey and turned himself around…
…and headed back to the end of the branch, posing for one final photo before flying off to who knows where.
I am hoping he will make my backyard a frequent feeding location and allow me the pleasure of taking many more pictures!