Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bullies



The flickers (Colaptes auratus) come from out of the deep forest as the leaves begin to fall. They are always calling and darting along the base of trees in the interior of the forest during the summer and hard to find when I want to photograph them. These woodpeckers are now easier to see because of the leaf fall which opens the woods. My woods are old so there is plenty of dead wood full of insects and lots of ants and bugs under the leaves on the ground. Flickers are not friendly neighbors as they chase away other birds and fly in small gangs. They are the lesser bullies in the playground and followed the gang of robins across my front yard last week, keeping them from getting all of the bugs. But as a gang of brutes, they do dress nicely. I think these are females (except for maybe the one on the top) since the males have moustaches! (One of these days I AM going to get a really good photo of this bird!)

8 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Tabor, I love Northern Flickers. They are just so gorgeous. I never think of them as being bullies--but we don't have many of them around. We have more Red-bellied and Downy than we do Flickers. SO--maybe we don't have enough around to do much damage... That is interesting to know!!!

Have a great Thanksgiving. We are headed out of town to do some hiking--after a big turkey dinner.
Hugs,
Betsy

Tabor said...

Hiking after dinner...how healthy. I will probably be babysitting for the following morning...but that also burns energy.

Barry said...

The males have moustaches?

Now if they only had little sombreros and bandoleers I could really picture them as bullies!

Hilary said...

I think you got pretty decent shots of them but don't doubt you'll still do better. I know we have them around here, but I've not seen one yet.

Shirliana said...

Tabor, what an interesting story. Before moving to where I live now, I had a crow who frequented my yard and was what you would call a bully. I grew to love him even though he would always keep the other birds at bay until he was done gobbling the bread that I had spread across the yard. He was sweet even though he had a few faults. ;)

Whether or not you get better photos of the Flickers, the process of trying to will no doubt be worth the effort.

Kerri said...

We only see the Flickers occasionally, so it's a treat when we do.
I've only ever seen one at a time. Yes, they certainly are spiffy dressers :)
I enjoyed your light show in the post below, and always love reading your descriptions. Sounds like a peaceful way to spend an evening.
Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving, Tabor!

Linda said...

Flickers have the most amazing mating dance. When we lived in Northern Ontario we used to sit out the back and watch them mate under the silver maple. Lots of bobbing up and down and circling. They have lots of colors too!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend Tabor! Thank you for all the support and caring you send our way. Also, thank you for teaching me so much about nature and photography this year. You have a fantastic eye for details! =D (((HUGS)))

dan said...

Wow, you did really well to get that shot.

One walks in the woods around here and the birds just fly.