Northern Flicker

A walk around noon today was notable mainly for how very quiet birds were. When I first stepped out the door, I heard not a single bird, only the shrieking of cicadas. It was a pleasant day, sunny and warm, but not nearly as hot as usual for this time of year. Three or four Ruby-throated Hummingbirds zoomed around the feeder and the geraniums in the back yard, and there were the distant, scattered calls of Cardinal, Titmouse and Carolina Wren. But partly because of the time of year, partly the time of day, not much else was happening, with one exception.

A Northern Flicker gave its loud but level pileated-like rattle and flew into some bare branches at the top of a tree where its warm brown back, gray head and bright black bib and red crescent on the back of the neck glowed in the sun.

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