Take a close look at this stunning Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker, a spotted and dashed North American songbird that, unlike its wood-pecking relatives, finds its favorite foods in the soil.
“It’s not where you’d expect to find a woodpecker,” All About Birds notes, “but flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill.”
In the wordless video above, filmed by the My Backyard Birding YouTube channel, the flicker indulges in a cool mountain spring bath, one of its favored activities. Volume up for tranquil nature sounds. From All About Birds:
“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 main food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants…
“To find Northern Flickers, try walking through open woods or forest edges, but scan the ground. You may flush a flicker from a feeding spot up into a nearby tree. Look for the obvious white rump patch in flight. Also, be sure to listen for their loud, ringing call and their piercing yelp. In late summer, listen for the incessant yammering of hungry nestlings to find a nest.”
The bird in the video provides a quiet contrast to this description as it flutters its wings in the water and hops away. It can be identified as yellow-shafted by the flashes of bright yellow on its flight and tail feathers.
Plus, enjoy these related bird videos:
• A blue-and-white flycatcher in a Japanese bird bath
• Why do dippers dip?
• Over 30 hummingbirds splash and chatter in a bird bath
• “I Built a Wildlife Pond – here’s what happened.”