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Home garden design > The Bird Garden > Flicker bird picture
Flicker bird picture
Flicker Golden-winged Woodpecker (Colaptes auratus) - 12.00 inches
This is one of our largest as well as noisiest Woodpeckers. When he begins to shout his monotonous information about the rain, all other birds may as well remain silent, for his clamor makes the welkin ring !
Although his song is heard not before early spring, he is one of the few plucky birds which braves the severity of our northern winters and stays with us the year around if the food supply seems promising.
His colors are varied: top of the head gray; a scarlet band on the back of the neck; a patch of white on the lower part of the back, and considerable yellow showing beneath the tail and wings during flight; back, upper parts of wings and secondaries brown-gray barred with black, the primaries and tail feathers black with yellow shafts; throat and sides of the face pinkish brown; a broad black band extending backward from the base of the bill, and a broad black crescent across the breast; lower parts dusky white marked with round black spots. Female similar but without the black band on cheeks.
Nest in a deep hole probably of an appletree, the entrance ten feet up, round, and not very large; the bird may or may not have excavated the hole, he is likely to remodel or enlarge one caused by decay. The egg is pure white. The bird's range is from the sea-coast to the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains and Alaska.
The Cuckoo knows the value of silence, the Flicker does not. There is the same effect of a subordinate tone in the Flicker's song as there is in that of the Cuckoo, but how absolutely different are the characters of the singers, and how perfectly manifest in their songs!
The Flicker is a noisy, aggressive bird, who publishes his whereabouts immediately upon his arrival with a clamor equal to that of the hysterical hen announcing the new-laid egg! The Cuckoo, on the contrary, is a retiring, quiet character who falteringly and soothingly announces his return to the "old stand" with due apolagy to those who may possibly disapprove.
The Flicker sounds as if he were whistling for the dogs to drive him off, the Cuckoo sounds as if lie were expostulating against such rude treatment. The Flicker's voice resembles a monotonous fortissimo performance on the oboe, the Cuckoo's a pianissimo response from the ocarina.
It is not easy to determine the pitch of the Flicker's voice because of its peculiar tinlbre ; it certainly is not a whistle, yet one can easily imitate it by whistling with due regard for the grace note.