Friday, February 22, 2019

Northern Flicker

This Northern Flicker visited our suet feeder on 20 February 2019, as snow fall exceeded a record-breaking 32 inches for the month. Most flickers flee Minnesota winters, but a few spend the season here—especially if suet feeders are available. This individual is an eastern, yellow-shafted, bird. Further west, flickers have red flight feather shafts. Most American ornithologists now consider the two populations to be distinct species, despite hybridization in the western Great Plains. European scientists, however, argue that enough genetic, behavioral, and plumage differences warrant treating them as separate species.

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