Monday, January 28, 2013

red-shafted


















The most recent issue of Audubon (January February 2013) has the winners of the 2012 photo contest. It's on sale now at local newsstands.

The grand prize winner, taken by Carol Cahil at Montaña de Ore State Park located in Los Osos, California, shows a Northern flicker emerging from his nest hole.

And because it was in the west, it's  a "red-shafted" flicker not the "yellow-shafted" variety we have here in the east.

Just look at those salmon-colored wing linings. Beautiful. Oh, to go on a road trip to see such.

And to the left, by comparison, a similar photo of the eastern yellow-shafted flicker, part of the photo exhibit "The Owl and the Woodpecker" by wildlife photographer Paul Bannick that was on display this past summer at the Frank H. McClung Museum on the campus of the University of Tennessee.

The two color morphs meet in the middle of the country, roughly a broad curved zone that runs from Alaska to the panhandle of Texas through the Great Plains. In this zone, the yellow and red intermingle, get to know each other in a biblical sense and produce clutches of hybrids that have traits of both color forms: red and yellow, yellow and red. 

Ooh la la, Mardi Gras. In a word: Wow!
 
And to bring closure to this, for those of us in the east that do not get to see the western version visit our suet feeders, here's another photo: red-shafted


1 comment:

Marie said...

Hello! Haven't been by in a while. I hope you are doing well. I enjoyed this post so much! I didn't know about the two flickers and how they morph together in the Panhandle and Plains. It was so interesting. And the photos are wonderful!