Northern Flicker

 

Since it was only in my last post that I mentioned it, I´m sure you remember that the Cuban Pygmy Owl is so small that it actually likes to seek shelter in abandoned woodpecker holes.

Which is why I felt compelled to paint a Northern Flicker – that, and I really wanted to use some of my lovely yellow paints. 😉

The Northern Flicker – yellowhammer, clape, gaffer woodpecker, harry-wicket, heigh-ho (this is definitely my favorite! 😉 ), wake-up, walk-up, wick-up, yarrup, and gawker bird as it is also often called – is one of the few woodpecker species that migrate.

Their breeding habitat consists of forested areas across North America and as far south as Central America.

As well as eating ants, flickers exhibit a behavior known as anting, in which they use the formic acid from the ants to assist in preening, as it is useful in keeping them free of parasites.

My watercolor painting shows you a yellow-shafted flicker (Colaptes auratus auratus) –  Colaptes comes from the Greek verb colapt, meaning “to peck”; auratus is from the Latin root aurat, meaning “gold” or “golden”, and refers to the bird’s underwing.

 

 

Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker (water color on paper; march 2018)

 

 

Do you see many flickers in the area you live? Let me know what you think about them in your comments! (noisy, beautiful, a real nightmare… 😉

 

 

 

 

Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

65 thoughts on “Northern Flicker

      1. Yes, each season a variety of birds appear, including different woodpeckers. Winter brings, for example, yellow bellied sapsuckers, which are dressed in seasonal coat. Of course, I do have year round ones that graze and entertain.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. What a lovely painting, Sarah! I love the golden hues. We have woodpeckers here, but I honestly don’t know if they’re Northern Flickers. 🙂 Have a wonderful week, my friend…🦅🦆🐦🕊❤
    p.s. I couldn’t find a woodpecker emoji. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Lauren! Northern Flicker or not, any kind of woodpecker is wonderful to watch and listen to! 🙂
      Have an awesome and beautiful week, dear friend! Love&hugs! xoxo 💕
      P.S. If I knew how to program emojis I would be creating a woodpecker one now! 😀 😉

      Like

  2. What a beautiful bird and you captured it beautifully. I don’t think I have ever seen or heard of a Flicker, but I will be on the watch for them now that I know what they look like – thank you Miss Dragonfly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is such glorious beauty in birds , Sarah, and your art depicts them so vibrantly. You are so talented! I feed birds in my backyard, my favorite ones are the cardinals. They take my breath away. Did you know there are yellow cardinals also? I recently discovered that on the Web. Have a super week, xoxo!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lana! I know pictures of the cardinals but sadly we don’t have any of them here in Europe (only the clergy type who really don’t look nearly as pretty 😉). And I didn’t know there were yellow ones as well! Will go and look out for them on Google!
      Hope everything is fine and wish you a wonderful and creative week! Much love! xoxo ❤

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  4. Wow! Sarah, what a wonderful painting of the Northern Flicker – I have no idea how you can catch it mid-hover. The wings and tail are a glorious golden colour, with a vibrant sheen to them. Oh, how I wish I could see one in real life – how could these be a nuisance! I’ve seen other woodpeckers in real life and always marvel at them, a joy to behold!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Annika! I know, I can hardly believe it myself but there are people out there who feel annoyed by woodpeckers – luckily no one of our WP family though it seems. 😉 Just imagining the force they put behind their pecks makes my head hurt! 😂 Nature never fails to amaze me. 😊
      Have a lovely day, dear friend! Hugs&love! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely painting Sarah; you are so talented! We don’t have such birds here, so it is great to learn so much about them from your post. Wishing you a great weekend xxxx 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL! Don’t be too harsh with yourself, it’s such a sweet and special bird and I would have chosen it for the national bird as well. Also trying to get out of people’s way might actually be a good thing for the bird in terms of preservation!
        Weekend is busy with painting!! 😊 Hugs! xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much, Su!
        Just had a look at your tui – it´s beautiful! Really love its subtle tones of emerald green, russet and blue. Read that they are one of the main pollinators for fruit trees which makes them even more awesome! Maybe I´ll paint one for you 😉 xxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Painting from life is so much more difficult! Those damn birds can’t stand still – lol! 😂 Maybe you could take a picture of your tuis and send me?? That would be a portrait of ones you personally know! 😊 xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Don’t worry – I’ve found a couple of lovely photos online. Now you only need to patiently wait for my painting – lol! 😁 Promise it won’t take as long as the 3 alpacas 😉😂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sarah, I love your Northern Flicker although we haven’t got it here. There are other dramatic and bigger woodpeckers but none this golden and sunny.
    Wow, you do some fantastic watercolours.
    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Miriam! We don’t have them either but I kind of fell with those beautiful golden feathers when I saw a picture and knew I had to give it a try. 😊 Have a lovely evening and a beautiful weekend! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kerry! I’m sure at least one of your woodpeckers is a northern flicker, they seem to be quite widespread. Next time you hear one grab some binoculars. 😉 Have a very lovely day! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Pam! And it makes me smile that your flickers try to get your attention by telling on your window before they tuck in. A bit like ‘hey you, thanks for all the suet, really appreciate it!’ 😄

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  7. Great water colour of the Northern flicker! We have them also visit our bird feeder. In contrast to the many other species of birds they are extremely wary and fly off at the slightest movement.

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