Sunday, April 3, 2016

Birds who have visited me, part 2: Northern Flickers

post #278
       The deck on this house is located outside the sliding doors from the kitchen, and it is designed so that the black walnut tree can continue to thrive even though it grows close to the deck. Birds seem to love this tree, with its layered bark and its late-appearing and early-falling leaves and nuts. Well, the squirrels are really the ones who like the nuts; during an abundant year it is actually risky to sit on the deck in the weeks before the first frost -- due to those falling walnuts.  
       One day during this annual period, on October 7, 2012 to be precise, two matching male northern flickers showed up, and they proceeded to follow almost a ritualized dance such as I had never seen before. They were so intent on each other that they ignored me and my camera, but I am still claiming that half hour as a visit.  They must have trusted me even if they were not eating out of my hand. Perhaps they were simply showing off, but I suppose it was more likely a posturing about territory.  Such handsome dudes!!  Honored to have met you!!

On your mark, get ready, get set

and GO!

around and around

then over and under

the return to direct neck signals....

more around and around

I don't know who comes out "on top" during the round and rounds....

but eventually one is left clinging, and then both went on their merry way.

      These are most of the photos that I made that day. I hope they convey a sense of the intensity of the encounter.  I don't have special bird lenses nor do I have any real understanding of the activity here, but I did know I had never seen this before (or since) which made it feel very special to me to be so nearby. And it's fun to be sharing it today.

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