Monday, June 15, 2009

Flickers and Cicada Killers

I spotted a yellow shafted flicker (Colaptes auratus) this morning along the trail in the southern portion of the woods. This bird was unmistakable with its bright white rump noticeable as it flew off from the trail and the tiny red patch visible on the back of its head as it lit into a tree. Although not threatened, flicker populations have been noted to be on the decline. Protecting and maintaining nesting snags (dead trees) in the forest, parks, and other natural areas can be helpful in protecting populations of flickers in our area. This is one more new species for the Back Woods list of visitors and residents.

The cicada killers are emerging and are notable through out the forest. Dodging them is sometimes a challenge. It can be an even greater challenge when they are weighed down in flight with a cicada in their grasp! Check out Prof. Chuck Holliday's Cicada Killer Page for more info on these really cool wasps.

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