Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yellowhammer and, or Harry-wicket

While visiting the Rocky Mountains last week, I came upon a pair of Red- Shafted Flickers. They are one of a few woodpecker species that migrate. Flickers are the only woodpeckers that commonly feed from the ground. They probe with their beaks as well as catch insects while in flight. They also eat seeds, berries, nuts and fruit, however their main diet consists of insects. Ants alone can make up nearly 50% of their diet. They have a behavior called "anting" whereby they use the acid from the ants to assist in their preening. This is a useful procedure that help repel parasites. There are over 100 names for the Northern Flicker, among them are: Yellowhammer and, or Harry-wicket. The Red Shafted flickers are red under their tail and wings and have red shafts on their primaries. They have a beige cap and a gray face. Males have a red moustache. It has, like many woodpeckers, an undulating style of flight, that looks much like roller coaster movements. Both sexes work together in building a nest site, which can take a couple of weeks, or longer to complete. A clutch can consist of 6 to 8 eggs which are the second largest of the North American woodpecker species, exceeded only by the Pileated Woodpecker's. Incubation is by both sexes for approximately 12 days. The young are fed by regurgitation and fledge about 25 to 28 days after hatching.

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