Feeding flicker chick


Each year, I try to watch flicker parents flying in to feed their chicks. This year, a Merlin has intimidated our local flickers, so I had to go along the shore to find some other pilings in which flickers were in cavity nests. Finally, on the third visit, there was some action.

A Norther Flicker female flies towards a cavity nest bearing food for its chick. Flicker parents swallow the insects they find, then regurgitate them for the chick. This explains why there does not appear to be anything in the parent’s bill.

Feeding is not impressive; the parent sticks its bill down the throat of the chick and regurgitates.

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2 Responses to Feeding flicker chick

  1. Melanie Wright-Day says:

    Hi Alistair,
    I remember watching a flicker nest one year inside an old apple tree trunk. The babies were literally stacked up, one on top of another. The bottom one was as flat as a pancake! But they all survived, hopefully the mother was on the ball and fed them all, not just the one on top! The top baby did seem to be the biggest and most robust! On another note, if you’re ever down town, I am in Artwalk this year and my art is showing at The Green Room, which is beside Eltaco across from Thors pizza on Victoria Street. My theme is “Kootenay Birds in Art”. I’ve featured a Northern Flicker and other favorites.

  2. Mary J Williams says:

    I don’t get to see where my local Flickers nest but I have them at my feeders on my deck. Beautiful birds. Mine is also known as the Yellow Shafted Flicker

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