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Friday, April 6, 2012

Twitterpated!

I think spring is triumphant at last and to celebrate the occasion, my feathered friends are indeed twitterpated!

A rather large dapper Northern Flicker began the morning proceedings when he landed in the Pink Dogwood Tree.  


He dug into a bird feeder with such gusto that bits and pieces were flying every which way.

Do you see what I see?

Yes, it is his remarkable tongue which not only works well for catching insects, but also for gathering seeds  Excerpt from this site:
The Northern Flicker searches out ants with its long, sticky tongue.  This amazing tongue is worm-like and has a hard tip which the Flicker uses to spear insects in holes.  The tongue can extend beyond its bill by about 1½”; the tongue is not attached to the head but curls up inside the skull.  Ants make up 75% of its diet with but it will eat other insects and beetle larvae. Surprisingly, it also catches insects in flight.  It eats seeds, nuts, acorns and grains from early fall into the spring.
In case you’d like another look, here is the same Northern Flicker showing off his striking plumage…and tongue!
You’d think that would be enough excitement for the day, however various other birds joined in the celebration to either gather some of the seeds that had landed beneath the bird feeder, or to explore the hanging basket with its sunflower seed collection.
Varied thrush:

White-crowned sparrow:

Rufous-sided towhee:

The Rufous-sided towhee has bright red eyes which did not show up well in the above photo because of the lighting, however another on the ground shows off the red eyes somewhat better.

These towhees are skittish and often high-tail it into the bush when spotted (pun intended Winking smile), like this:

The regulars, Dark-eyed Juncos, Robins, Chickadees and Nuthatches were all in attendance.  It was wonderful to hear the sweet sounds of spring!  Are you feeling twitterpated?
Just down the road ~

13 comments:

  1. Lovely photos, I especially like the rabbit. They're like squirrels being cute to look at but I'm thankful that there's none in the neighbourhood!
    The Northern Flicker is an interesting bird.
    I hope that you've had a good Easter, it's been a dull and wet one here. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. Yes, it's true that squirrels and rabbits can be a nuisance in the garden, but I like to see them anyway and don't mind that they come for a visit :) I was amazed to see the Flicker's tongue when I downloaded the photos. Then I had to do some research, which I found most interesting. Easter was quiet, but pleasant, thanks :)

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  2. Can't say I've ever seen a bird with a tongue! Intriguing I must say! Happy Easter Glo. x

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    1. Can't say I'd ever seen a bird's tongue before either! I was quite amazed when I downloaded the photos. Hope you Easter was happy too!

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  3. Hi Glo,

    Happy Easter to you :-) What wonderful visitors you have in your garden and you have lovely photos of them, I particularly like the Northern Flicker! Nice Easter bunny too :-)

    I loved the poem on your very chilly previous post, you are so clever!!

    We have had a dull, wet few days. Spring seems to have sprung away again here for the moment.

    Great Scavenger Hunt photos earlier too, I fell in love with that enormous dog.

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    1. Thanks for you lovely comment and pleased to see you enjoyed my previous posts as well. I was quite amazed at the size of the dog...especially when seeing him compared to the other 'regular' sized one ;) Hope your good weather returns soon, and hope you had a Happy Easter!

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  4. All lovely birds but your flicker photos are fantastic (say that three times fast!). The tongue is similar to that of a hummingbird. Very cool.

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    1. Thanks for the tongue twister! Of course I had to try to say it three times fast ;) Interesting...now I'll have to see if I can spot a hummingbird's tongue!

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  5. The Northern Flicker certainly is dapper. What a lovely visitor to have. Great close up of its head, and tongue.

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  6. Thanks John! Glad you enjoyed my photo of the Flicker ~ I was quite amazed to see the detail myself!

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  7. I so appreciate the wonderful detail you get in your bird photos. So much intricacy and nuance in each tilt of the head... and flick of the tongue! That Flicker plumage is definitely eye-catching.

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  8. I'm imagining that spring is so fantastically beautiful that you are off Doing Things instead of sitting at your computer. Hope you are well. We miss you.

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  9. Thanks Nikki ~ I have been totally in a non-blog frame of mind! I have been reading blogs, but not commenting or blogging...can't quite explain it other than I needed a change of pace...thanks so much for checking on me. I've just posted my April photo Scavenger Hunt list.

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