[Tweeters] Yellow shafted Norther Flicker

Paul Bannick paul.bannick at gmail.com
Mon Nov 16 15:35:20 PST 2015


Dear Charles, Connie and Tweeters,

Intergrades are pretty common, especially during the winter when resident
flickers are joined by migrants from the North.

Generally the Red-shafted Northern Flickers live West of the Great Plains
and Yellow-shafted live East. There is though a long, narrow hybrid (or
perhaps more accurately inter-grade) zone on the western great plans that
crosses the Rockies of Canada and into southern Alaska. During the winter
we get lots of those Alaska birds that show a mix of traits. Much like the
the Red-breasted and Red-naped sapsuckers, hybrid birds can sometimes look
convincingly like a pure bird of one subspecies but are normally mixed.

I have noticed over time that more of these hybrids tend to stay in the
Pacific Northwest and breed into the pool (as Connie pointed out) but these
are usually the ones that look quite a bit more like the Red-shafted birds.

If you would like to see some examples check out:
http://paulbannick.photoshelter.com/search?I_DSC=intergrade&_ACT=search
or
http://paulbannick.photoshelter.com/image?&_bqG=0&_bqH=eJwL9Uj3KfYqSUwz9MvxrHIzCTMqMPC2yMtxNjaxMrMyNDAAYSDpGe8S7GybmVeSWpRelJiSquYZHxrsGhTv6WIbClJQ4WvomeuX7pgS5akW7.gcYlucmliUnAEAZKsdKA--&GI_ID=

I look forward to seeing my first winter intergrade flicker.

Paul

On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 3:10 PM, Connie Sidles <constancesidles at gmail.com>
wrote:


> Dear Charles, Many years ago, a Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker set up

> nesting at Montlake Fill, in a hole near the golf driving range. He got his

> genes into the pool by pairing up with a local resident. Ever since then,

> we get flickers with yellow-shafted traits. Some descendants look purely

> yellow-shafted. More commonly, the descendants show more hybrid traits:

> they might have a red crescent on the nape, for example, but a red whisker

> instead of a black one. Or they might have one reddish whisker and one more

> blackish. It's always a delight to see these guys. When I see one that

> looks purely yellow, I wonder if it is another newcomer from the east, or

> just one of our local guys who may have hooked up with one of the

> descendant yellowish-shafted girls. It's fun to listen to the flickers'

> calls and note that some do sound different. Now that Barred Owls have so

> successfully crossed the Great Plains, I wonder if more eastern woodpeckers

> will also, not to mention other easterners. I live for the day when I see

> my first Northern Cardinal at the Fil - I only hope my blood pressure will

> withstand the shockl. - Connie, Seattle

>

> constancesidles at gmail.com

> www.constancypress.com

>

>

> On Nov 16, 2015, at 11:00 AM, CHARLES E. VAUGHAN <

> cvaughan at u.washington.edu> wrote:

>

> Yesterday I had a Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker hitting the suet on my

> backyard feeder. First time I have ever seen this variant in Seattle. Any

> other sightings?

>

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>



--
Paul L. Bannick
Nature and Bird Photography
www.paulbannick.com
206-940-7835
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