Spring is once again in the air and so too is my northern flicker house. If you’ll remember, last year I hung my flicker box on the side of my house, but became frustrated by the European starlings that seemed to want to lay claim to the property. Determined to try again, I hung the original house (the one without the plexiglass shield) in the same spot a couple of weeks ago once I heard the first flicker drumming on someone’s gutter.
Well, now that it’s warmed up a bit and the snow is melting, there’s been lots of activity! While a mob of European starlings expressed interest in the box last week by dumping the woodchips all over the ground below it, their interest seems to have waned (fingers crossed). The last few days, a male flicker has been on and in the box for much of the day. Yesterday and today he’s spent most of his time inside the box pecking away at the entry hole (probably trying to replace the woodchips the starlings dumped). His efforts are occasionally punctuated by his usual cry, but he’s been a lot quieter today. That might be because he’s already attracted a lady. She was hanging around on the tree across from the box for awhile.
Northern flickers are notoriously shy so I don’t have any really good pictures of them on the house. I had to skulk around really quietly to get the pictures I did manage to get, but I’m considering ways to get around that if they do decide to nest there. Maybe I’ll buy a trail camera so I can get pictures of them coming and going. By the way, I’ve decided to nickname them Beaky (female) and Flick (male). More as things develop!
UPDATE: Here’s a picture of Flick on the box: