Monday, December 29, 2008

Flickering of the Eyes

Northern Illinois had the weirdest weather over the weekend...

Last week was hell froze over; this weekend was spring temperatures in the 60's. The snow and ice melted, it rained all day, and flooding was the main concern. Sunday was pleasant with clear skies and temps in the mid 30's. I went for a drive:

I found a flicker on the side of the road ...



...falling asleep...



...good night lil fella...



Cool Facts from All About Birds:

A common ant-eating woodpecker of open areas, the Northern Flicker has two color forms found in different regions. The yellow-shafted form is common across the eastern and northern parts of North America, while the red-shafted form is the one found in the West.
Although it can climb up the trunks of trees and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to find food on the ground. Ants are its favorite food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants.
The Northern Flicker is one of the few North American woodpeckers that is strongly migratory. Flickers in the northern parts of the range move south for the winter, although a few individuals often stay rather far north.

11 comments:

Craig Glenn said...

What an interesting woodpecker. I have never seen one. You got some really nice photo's of him. Thanks for the info as well.

Craig

Richard said...

Absolutely perfect pictures. Thanks for sharing them.

Shellmo said...

Hannibal - seeing these photos brightened my day! Beautiful close ups of this handsome fellow!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Gorgeous pictures.Love different stages of falling asleep.Hope you didn't wake him.:)
Blessings,Ruth

Rocky Mtn. Girl said...

Absolutely stunning photos.... what amazing colors on this little guy!
~Michele~
Mountain Retreat-Canada

Tina said...

Hannibal,
I have to say that the flicker is one of my favorite birds for patterns and coloring...I have only had the priv. of photographing one that chose to feast on ants near my deck this past summer and he was gorgeous! Your pics are remarkable and the fact you caught him still,,,and falling asleep, fantastic! Another super post!

Eve said...

He's really enjoying that sun! We had the same weather but with Howling winds yesterday! The flicker has a tendency to rap on metal to define its territory...I found that out one year early in the morning!!!

jalynn01 said...

OH My Gosh! what a beautiful photo of the flicker's face and feathers...detailed and beautiful. And to see him fall asleep how sweet is that. You got some wonderful shots. Glad you shared them!

Bird Girl said...

Your Flicker portrait is outstanding, Hannibal! I hope you really just caught him blinking while your shutter was speed blinking...otherwise...I might be worried that he had too much Christmas cheer ;-)
Gorgeous color and detail!

Marsha said...

The flicker is a beautiful bird and your photos are just amazing! They migrate from our area so you are lucky to get to see them in the winter.

I love coming here and am never disappointed by the beauty you share!

Wrensong Farm said...

Catching a flicker falling asleep! What a lucky place/time shot! Though I know the feeling when it's sunny out and cold....