About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Northern Flicker Stops by for a Surprise Visit

Hi Sarah; For the first time ever I have seen a flicker at my suet feeder. He watched a red-bellied woodpecker for a while and figured out how to hang upside down and munch. I thought they flew south although we have our share of doves and other birds that are supposed to fly south.

I am in Livingston County right on the county line in Iosco Twp. Mr. flicker has been hanging around for a few days. Oh, I almost forgot, I had a small hawk hanging around. He flew into my door wall twice and liked to sit out on my deck. Luckily for the birds he moved on about two weeks ago. I have a lot less mourning doves hanging around now than I did before he was here.

You’re very lucky. The Northern Flicker is a rare winter resident in southern Michigan. It is native to most of North America, parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands. The northern birds migrate to the southern parts of the range while the southern birds are often permanent residents.

They’re considered a medium sized woodpecker but at 12-13 inches, I think they’re pretty big. Flickers like open habitats near trees, including woodlands, edges, yards, and parks. They eat fruits, berries, seeds and nuts, but their primary food is insects or suet. Strangely enough they prefer to forage on the ground, however, as you saw, they can figure out feeders.

For more information on the bird go to: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Flicker/lifehistory

Also make sure you get involved with the Great Backyard Bird Count this year to report what birds you have in your yard. You can send in photos for a chance to win prizes. Go to http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/ for more information.

Thank you for the email, Sarah

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

We have a Flicker in Lakes of the North, which is in Northern Michigan. It's been here for a while eating on the open areas where there is no snow. It's a very pretty bird.

Anonymous said...

I saw a pair of Flickers in backyard of my house in Southfield, Michigan which is located in Southeast Michigan. Beautiful birds were looking for worms on ground??

tim Last said...

Had a Northern Flicker in my bird bath today. Was great to watch him from 3 feet away taking a bath! This is in mid Michgan Arenac County Omer.

Anonymous said...

I had a Northern Flicker for the first time ever on my feeder this morning. 2/6/2014

Anonymous said...

I had a Northern Flicker for the first time on my feeder in Grand Blanc, MI 2/9/14

Anonymous said...

Montreal Canaada, first time ever seen a Northern Flicker in my backyard. Took me a while to find a picture on the web in order to identify it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited! I had one on my feeder this morning! I got a buch on pics because I didn't know what kind of bird it was. I'm located in Rochester Hills, next to Bloomer Park.