Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Flicker surprise!

I so love to see pairs of birds interacting . . . . . . and this is definitely the
 time of year to capture them with your camera. 
Spring, the birds and the bees etc!!!
I also enjoy learning new facts about birds and yesterday was one of
those moments. I have never been able to get a photo of a pair of
 Northern flickers actually feeding on the same suet cake . . . . . . . but as
 luck would have it, I looked out the dining room window just at the right
 moment. The light was perfect to show off these beautiful woodpeckers.

The real surprise though was seeing the female sticking out a long tongue! 
I had absolutely no idea these birds have tongues which they use to lap up
 ants. . . . . and as a tiny 'rake' to get to other foods, such as the goodies
 embedded in the suet.
Who knew!

Garden chores are at an all time high right I'm off and
 will return here soon.
I just had to share these beautiful birds who mate for life!


  1. What exquisite birds Mary and what superb photographs of them.

  2. The tongue picture is amazing. There is an excellent book called Bird Sense - what it's like to be a bird by Tim Birkhead. It looks at how birds taste and smell and see - and reveals some fascinating discoveries. Birkhead is talented and accessible nature writer and a fine researcher and lecturer too.

  3. What a wonderful capture of the Northern Flicker's tongue. Birds were everywhere on my walk this morning. So lovely.

  4. Dearest Mary,
    Excellent photos Mary! Those tongues, a little less out by the male in next photo, are a rare chance for capturing on camera.
    Yes, garden chores have begun and will last a couple of more weeks.

  5. What truly amazing photos, Mary. I never knew any bird could have a long tongue like that! What pretty birds they are too. Well done you. xox

  6. In answer to your question "Who knew" - well, I did :-) When I read the Leonardo Da Vinci biography, I learned a whole lot of things Leonardo was interested in, and dedicated much of his time studying them. One of those things was the woodpecker's long tongue, and how the bird can retract it inside its beak all curled up like a spool. Fascinating!

  7. Wonderful shots! Have a great Easter weekend Mary.

  8. Great pictures - very sharp and clear. Northern Flickers are set to return here very soon, and based on your images I will be sure to have a brand new block of suet in the backyard!

  9. Oh my gosh Mary, what great shots!!! May I sound ignorant and say I didn't realize birds had tongues lol??? Of course they do, but that is a long one! Lovely photos!!! :) I hope spring has sprung well for you! xxx

  10. Mary, you have outdone yourself with these photos. Wow!! I was wondering what was protruding from the beak. Totally surprised to learn it is a tongue. I must pay closer attention to the woodpeckers I see. Maybe they are really Northern Flickers. Great shots.

  11. Thank you so much for these! I think it was you who told me that flickers visit your suet feeder. I haven't seen any since maybe February when a pair stayed on the ground pecking all over my garden and on the trunk of the big pine. That was the first time I had encountered them and learned that they eat ants, but I never got a close look at them or read then that they have those long tongues!


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