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Home » Birds, Illinois, Life in America, Nature » Our 18th Backyard Bird: a Northern Flicker!

Our 18th Backyard Bird: a Northern Flicker!

Posted on Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 8:05 pm CET

We moved here in early February 2009 and our first bird to visit our feeders was an American Goldfinch on February 22nd. Today, just over 3 months later, we saw our 18th species: a Northern Flicker! So far we’d only seen these beautiful large woodpeckers in woods and nature reserves; it was the last bird we’d expected to see in our suburban backyard! She was sitting on the ground under our feeders, probably eating the ants that we’ve been seeing there since we put up a bowl of grape jelly for our Baltimore Orioles. She was only there for a few minutes and this was the best picture I could get:

Northern Flickr

Here’s our current yard list:

  1. American Goldfinch (22 February)
  2. Dark-eyed Junco (26 February)
  3. Black-capped Chickadee (3 March)
  4. House Finch (6 March)
  5. Mourning Dove (6 March)
  6. House Sparrow (12 March)
  7. Northern Cardinal (15 March)
  8. Red-winged Blackbird (15 March)
  9. Song Sparrow (15 March)
  10. American Robin (18 March)
  11. Downy Woodpecker (20 March)
  12. Common Starling (30 March)
  13. American Tree Sparrow (30 March)
  14. Brown-headed Cowbird (April)
  15. White-crowned Sparrow (6 May)
  16. Common Grackle (6 May)
  17. Baltimore Oriole (18 May)
  18. Northern Flicker (25 May)

We also had a gull in our yard last week, but we’re not sure which one it was. Probably a Ring-billed Gull but we can’t be sure, so it doesn’t count. I wonder what our next bird will be. Hopefully we’ll finally get a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (our hummingbird feeder has been up for 7 weeks!) and we’re waaaay overdue on getting a Blue Jay.

Besides these 18 we’ve had others fly over our yard. I like to count those too, but some people may find it hinky. A Red-tailed Hawk landed in our neighbor’s tree yesterday and then flew very low over our lawn and by our house. Whoa!

So here’s the rest of the list if you count the fly-overs:

  1. Canada Goose (14 March)
  2. Cooper’s Hawk (3 March)
  3. Tree Swallow (May)
  4. Sandhill Crane (May)
  5. Mallard (24 May)
  6. Red-tailed Hawk (24 May)

It’s been extremely fun to have all these feeders in our backyard and the number of birds has really gone up since Amy put in a bird bath a few weeks ago. This afternoon I counted over 25 birds at one time! The goldfinches and rosefinches are especially abundant; every time I looked today one of the vertical feeders with sunflower seeds had 4 to 6 finches on it.

Here are some pictures of our backyard birds. Most of these photos were made with Amy’s Wingscapes Birdcam:

House Finch
House Finches

Common Grackle
Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird

Baltimore Oriole (male)
Male Baltimore Oriole eating an orange

Baltimore Oriole (female)
Female Baltimore Oriole checking out our hummingbird feeder

Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

Hey, what’s this squirrel doing here?

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco

American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch

Nice, he? 🙂


Jun 11, 2015
6:55 pm
#1 Jen wrote:

Thank you for sharing! Love it all

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