I’ve been missing southwestern Montana and Clark County, Idaho a lot lately but the weather hasn’t been cooperating for a trip up north. I think that I have been missing the birds I usually see there including sapsuckers, nuthatches and woodpeckers busy making new nesting cavities or taking over an old one for their broods this season.
One year and one day ago I photographed my favorite nesting tree in the Targhee National Forest and this Northern Flicker nesting cavity.
It wasn’t an easy nesting tree to photograph because of the lighting situation, if you were there too early the trees to the east put the nesting tree in the shade and by the time the light did light up the aspen there was only a little while before the sun was high and the light became contrasty and the shadows were too dark.
But even with those conditions it was incredible to observe and photograph the flicker creating the nesting cavity, pushing wood chips out of the opening with its bill, flying too and from and watching it look around at its world.
This Northern Flicker usually called right before it flew in which gave me time to get ready for its appearance.
I didn’t know that when I photographed this Northern Flicker one day and one year ago that it would be the last time I’d see the tree standing or the last time I’d photograph this flicker, the sapsuckers, nuthatches, bluebirds and wrens that made this tree their nurseries. I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend one and a half nesting seasons photographing the birds there.
Life is good.
The nesting tree was chopped down by some one after I took these images. I will always be sad about that.