Northern Flicker on a fence post in the Centennial Valley

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A Northern Flicker on a fence post in the Centennial ValleyA Northern Flicker on a fence post in the Centennial Valley – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Early on the second morning when I was in Montana last week I was able to photograph this male Northern Flicker on the side and top of a weathered fence post. I often see Northern Flickers in the Centennial Valley but rarely do they stick around long enough to get photographs of them. Most of the time I see them flying away or diving down into the brush, in fact I haven’t been able to get this close to a flicker since May of this year at the Magical Sapsucker Tree before someone chopped it down and all the nests in the tree were lost. This flicker seemed to be enjoying the warmth of the rising sun, it was pretty chilly that morning.

I am always happy to photograph woodpeckers of any kind especially when they are out in the open like this Northern Flicker.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover September 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Love to see this bird in the back yard, usually briefly then.on their way. Great image Mia.
    Killing a lion for sport, especially the way Cecil was lured out of the park and then brutality killed, makes no sense to me either. And killing a wolf in Utah using a scoped rifle and then claiming he thought it was a coyote is lame, to put it mildly.

  2. Patty Chadwick September 15, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Beautiful bird, beautiful detail. The moron who chopped down that multi-bird “apartment house” nesting tree, is in a similar category,brain-wise, as that cruel, twisted, idiotic asshole dentist, Walter Palmer, from Minnesota, who, for the ultimate joy of wounding and killing a (endangered!) living creature , a black-maned lion named Cecil, and then chopping off its head so he could hang it on his effing wall–(where only he could see it), actually paid some $55,000 for the pleasure and “thrill of the kill”. The lion he killed was unusually magnificent, benevolent and mellow–and therefore a favorite of tourists from all over the world. Now dead, gone, mutilated! What kind of subhuman would enjoy destroying doing either?

    • Cindy September 15, 2015 at 9:05 am

      Patty, my sentiments exactly! Such a loss and for what? Heart wrenching.

    • Elephant's Child September 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Me too. On both counts. How I wish these big game hunters would start from a level playing field, using only the weapons which are built into their bodies.

      • Patty Chadwick September 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm

        I wish, wish, wish they would hunt each other….

  3. Vicki Rogerson September 15, 2015 at 7:53 am

    He’s a beauty for sure, and not a bird you see commonly photographed. You have done him justice.

  4. Cindy September 15, 2015 at 6:37 am

    We have flickers in the winter here in Utah. They are exquisite birds! How sad someone chopped the tree down losing all the nests. I wonder if they knew what they were taking down besides the tree?

  5. Bob Mcpherson September 15, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Beautiful photo, Mia

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