Saturday, April 6, 2013

Display on Display

Unexpected servings of sunlight this morning revealed a Northern Flicker pair in full-on mating display at the Montlake Fill. The male drilled at the snag, fanned out his salmon-bright tail, then the female answered with her own fan display.

He threw back his head a number of times, exposing his spotted breast. They would then switch positions--she'd be higher up for a bit, then he'd ascend to show off again from a higher branch. This duet of contortions and acrobatics lasted at least ten minutes; the mating imperatives made them indifferent to me.

About thirty minutes later, they landed on a nearby parking lot light structure; the male began rat-a-tat-tatting on the lamp. A male interloper joined them for a few seconds, and then was off to the south, probably in search of a solitary female.


  1. Gorgeous shots Clare. Looking forward to seeing more as Spring gets underway. I thought of you when we saw vireos at Seward Park earlier this week. Beautiful!

  2. Vibrant photos! So lovely to see this post. I'm particularly taken with the second photo; have always loved seeing flickers, & we do have them around where I live in Portland.