This Is For The Birds

This Is For The Birds

Friday, April 12, 2013

Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers

There are two living subspecies (and one extinct subspecies) of the Northern Flicker: the Red-shafted Northern Flicker and the Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker. The Guadalupe Flicker, which had been found solely on the Mexican island of Guadalupe, is determined to have gone extinct by 1910.

Generally speaking, Red-shafted Northern Flickers are found in western North American and Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers are found in eastern North America. It should be noted, however, that where the ranges of each overlapa relatively narrow swath that runs from southern Alaska to Northern Texasthey interbreed, creating hybrids with shafts varying in color between the bright red and the bright yellow. The males mustaches also vary between the black and the bright red in instances of interbreeding.

I consider myself quite lucky to have a pair of Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers frequently visiting the feeders of my old Kentucky home.



I'm hoping to see their offspring at my feeders in the not too distant future.