[Tweeters] Mating behavior of Northern Flickers and a question

Michelle Maani lamoustique at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 23 16:40:56 PDT 2015


I watched two Northern Flickers, going through a mating ritual which involved soft calls, head bobbing, and tail displays. This went on for quite awhile, over half an hour. At one point they did try to join. There was no mounting, it turned out to be a kind of an embrace.  (I have pictures of that sequence too but I didn't post them)
https://flic.kr/p/yY3wvQ
Wait a minute, you say, looking at the photo,  they both look like females. They do to me too. I'm not 100 per cent sure, the one on the left might be a male with extremely light malar stripes. Are they both females?   After I sneezed and scared them into the brush, I could hear them continuing the behavior.  If you're wondering about this behavior in early fall, apparently the equal length of day and night around early fall causes a rise in hormones and some mating and courtship behaviors in birds.
Michelle MaaniVancouver, Washington


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