Northern Flickers

Northern Flickers are large woodpeckers.  However, unlike other woodpeckers, Northern Flickers mainly forage on the ground.  They eat mostly insects (favorites are ants and beetles), hammering into the soil to find them, as other woodpeckers do drilling into wood and trees.

Northern Flickers are common and widespread, and are found year-round in the United States.  The eastern version is yellow-shafted; the western version is red-shafted.

I came upon this yellow-shafted Northern Flicker, sitting pretty while absorbing the sun’s rays.


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Fall foliage is occurring around the mid-Atlantic, I hope to get out and capture some of it.  Here’s one ready to share.

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This next photo is this month’s Beaver Moon rising after sunset.  Oh boy, those trees are ready to transform into red, orange, and yellow!


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As always, thank you for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend!


37 thoughts on “Northern Flickers

  1. Enjoyed the look, always like to see the Flickers. I did not realize it was a super moon, or at least someone told me that.Curious, where does the term “Beaver Moon” come from?

    • Algonquin Native American tribes as well as American colonists called it the Beaver Moon because “this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs,” according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Thank you for your question and comments, Jane!

  2. What an interesting bird the northern flicker is. I haven’t heard of them before. Almost like a bizarro world woodpecker! And I hadn’t heard of a beaver moon before so I googled it and was amazed to find that there is a name for every full moon of the year. The things you learn! 🙂

    • Thank you Sue! I’ve been able to ID the flicker for years but never knew until a couple years that it was a woodpecker. Yep the things we still learn, even the Beaver Moon and other full moons for every month of the year! 🙂

  3. I spotted a flicker in one of our trees yesterday. They are such pretty birds. Thanks for sharing. Also, I had forgotten about the beaver moon, but remember that last year we had the beaver ‘supermoon’, which was closer to the earth than it had been since 1948, and won’t be that close again until 2037. Thanks for the photo and reminder!

    • Yes, they are pretty birds! And you are right, last year’s beaver supermoon was extra close to earth. I did a post on it if you’d like to see it. Cut/paste: or click on my “Moon” category down the right column, you will see the post. Thanks so much for your comments! 🙂

  4. Thanks Donna for the introduction to Flickers. I have not known these birds. I also look forward to seeing your fall shots, it is such colourful time of year there, I hope one day to see. Have a great week my friend.

    • Thanks so much for your comments! I felt lucky that the flicker stayed so still and didn’t take flight. And I’m anxious for our area trees to start to ‘pop’ with color!

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