The Ground-foraging Woodpecker

        The Northern Flicker is a woodpecker that forages on the ground a lot to find ants, one of its main sources of food. These birds may not be amazingly beautiful, but it sure cheers me up to see this cool woodpecker in my backyard! Recently my father heard a bird in our backyard and he wondered what it was. He did some looking online and said it was a Northern Flicker. I did not believe him at first  because we do not see Northern Flickers in our backyard except for 1-2 times a year during the winter, and this is the start of spring. I heard it for myself though, and it turned out to be the territorial call of the Northern Flicker. This call sounds like wik-wik-wik-wik. I tried to record it, but the Northern Flickers were farther off than I thought and they would stop singing as soon as I would walk outside. I did get close enough to record once, but the bird flew 200 feet away to another tree on private property that I did not want to trespass on. I usually only thought of Northern Flickers as winter birds in Dunwoody, but after this episode, I checked the range maps and sure enough they live here year round! I will be on the lookout for these two Northern Flickers and will try to record the calls again if I hear them. I always have a goal to get at least 1 Northern Flicker during the winter, and while this was at the start of spring, I am still counting it for this year!

Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)
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