Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus


Figure 1 – Northern Flicker, Sudbury, MA. (c) DE Wolf 2017.

It has been a while since I have taken any decent bird pictures.  So I was very happy this past week to capture this Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus. Flickers are a type of woodpecker, and this one’s particular interest was in my suet feeder. Nothern flickers belong to the genus Colaptes, which includes twelve species of New World woodpeckers woodpeckers.  What could be better than fat, peanut butter, and seeds for a cold day’s snack? I decided to use all of what I have learned about how to get good photographs with my bird lens and actually took this one through a glass window, something that I originally thought was a big problem. But not so much, it turns out, if everything else is set correctly.

Flickers are ground woodpeckers and are often found eating on the lawn, feasting on ants and other insects. Winter is, of course, particularly difficult for birds. But for those of us snapping images from a warm room, the photograph gives us the opportunity to study the details of pattern and coloration, which would not be possible on the fly, as it were.

At some point we have to deal with the question, what kind of a woodpecker was Woody the Woodpecker? According to the Wikipedia, he was fashioned after the acorn woodpecker but also resembles the pileated woodpecker. As a child I loved those cartoons.

Canon T2i with EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens at 100 mm, ISO 1600, Aperture Priority AE Mode 1/8000 th sec at f/7.1 with -1 exposure compensation.

This entry was posted in Personal Photographic Wanderings.


  1. Marilyn Fuss January 7, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    WOWOWOw! I have never seen a picture of, nor a real Northern Flicker before. Have they been hunted for their fabulous feathers instead of photographed? Thank goodness your windows are so clean.

    • David January 8, 2017 at 12:22 am #

      Thank you, Mar. Funny because I was eating rosemary and olive oil potato chips and remembering you just before you comment came in.

  2. diane January 7, 2017 at 11:26 pm #

    makes you want to fight the climate deniers with more fervor