There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Northern Flicker - red-shafted

Colaptes auratus cafer

Large woodpecker
Brown back with narrow black bars
Black chest patch
Black spots on belly
White rump
Red under wings and tail
Gray face
Brown crown
Red 'moustache' stripe (male)

Listen to its call.

This fellow has been seen in our yard numerous times within recent weeks. He's usually perched on one of our large pine trees, although I've also seen him at our feeder on a couple of occasions. Northern flickers have long barbed tongues to lap up their prey. So, now I know who's been gobbling up the bark butter so quickly.

Learn more about the Northern Flicker.

Additional photos:

female -


  1. nice one! I swear I only see juncos and finches.

  2. I really like the second photo! Love the angle it was taken at! Keep up the good work.


  3. Holy cow! What a bird, and what a great new picture too. I wanna see one of these!