Sunday, January 23, 2011

Northern Flicker - Hybrid

I hung bird feeders in my back yard over the Christmas break. I haven't had bird feeders since I was a kid. Activity has been spotty so far, but I had a flurry of birds today around noon after I got home from church and before I went out birding.
One of the birds I saw in my yard that actually wasn't at the feeder was the Northern Flicker in the image above. When I saw it, I thought it was a Yellow-shafted subspecies as the red crescent on its nape was very obvious. I quickly ran and got my camera and got a couple of mediocre pictures before if flew off. Once I got the pictures on my computer, I realized that it must be a hybrid as its wings and tail reveal obvious red shafts. There also appears to be a hint of a red mustache on its right side.
Yesterday I saw a Varied Thrush in my yard, and today a hybrid Northern Flicker. Maybe I should start doing my birding in my back yard. :-)

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