[Tweeters] Another Intergrade Flicker!

Joshua Glant josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Wed Sep 23 20:20:21 PDT 2015


Hello Tweets,

At 4:50 PM this afternoon, I glanced outside and saw a male flicker sitting in the feeder tree! As I reached for my camera, he flapped down onto the suet and began to nibble off chunks. I got a couple shots of him feeding, then wondered: this seems unlikely, but what if he's an intergrade? So I picked up my binoculars, focused on his nape - and there was a faint but classic red "heart" on the back of his head! If I had just taken a casual glance, I wouldn't have noticed it, though perhaps I would have upon examining my photos.

He flew away a minute later, leaving me to reflect on just how subtle intergrade flickers can be, and perhaps how numerous! Skimming Google Images just now, I noted that seemingly 1 out of every 4 male Red-shafted Flicker images in which the nape is visible has at least some trace of red, from a tiny splotch to a vibrant, full-formed heart. Obviously intergrade are more common than we think! Is it especially pronounced in the Puget Sound. For some reason, before this year I had only ever seen one, but this year I've seen 4 at least. Is that because I'm looking for it? Probably. But from now on I will be checking all my flickers!

Good flickering, Joshua Glant

Mercer Island, WA

Josh.n.glant at gmail.com


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