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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Hard Times in Colorado

December 26th, 2011 · 6 Comments

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These are hard times for birds in Colorado. Almost all the water in the lakes and streams is frozen solid and snow covers everything. Yesterday about a foot and one-half of snow fell here. The temperature dropped to 8° last night.

But this morning was cloudless and the temperature had warmed up to about 17° when Sharon and I went snowshoeing from Walden Ponds to Boulder Creek. We looked for wading birds, but they had no place to wade and I took no photographs.

Then, as I sat in my easy chair reading a novel on my Kindle Touch I looked out my living room window. Right below my bird feeder was a Northern Flicker digging in the snow. This colorful member of the woodpecker family is the only woodpecker species that regularly feeds on the ground.

My guess is that the food it found was a piece of suet that it or another Northern Flicker had dropped from the bird feeder. I slowly opened the window (from which I had already removed the screen) and took several hundred shots in rapid succession. This was the best one:

A Flicker Finds Frozen Food

A Flicker Finds Frozen Food

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Then, I switched my camera to movie mode. You can see this Northern Flicker in action for a few seconds on YouTube here:

How would you like to have to dig for your next meal in the snow?


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Posted in: Photography

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cheryl // Jan 1, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Hello and Happy New Year !! We, too, have these Northern Flicker birds in northwestern Oregon–I always just called them Woodpeckers and just today I learned their real name—thank you—-

  • 2 Linda Martin // Jan 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I live in Colorado also, Colorado Springs. My neighbor has a dead tree that he trimmed and left the tall trunk just for the Woodpeckers. They look just like your picture, and I too am happy to know their name. We love to watch them in the summer from our deck. Last summer we watched the mother teaching her babies to fly, it was awesome. Thanks for your Blog, I am also type2 diabetic and am on Metformin and I also take Super Enzymes to help break down Carbs and Fats. I just want to prevent myself from having to go on insulin. My last A1c was 7.4. Your column has helped me learn more about being a diabetic. Thank you.

  • 3 Fran Stearns // Jan 2, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Something we lack at Frasier Meadows…a birdfeeder. Good to have yours as a substitute.

  • 4 David Mendosa // Jan 2, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Dear Fran,

    I think it’s so strange that Frasier Meadows doesn’t have any birdfeeders. You seem to have all the other amenities there. Are you able to put one outside your window yourself? That’s what I did at my apartment.


  • 5 Shelley // Jan 3, 2012 at 10:14 am


    I’m from Indiana and have been searching to see a Flicker. Thanks so much for posting the video and picture – almost like I was there!


  • 6 Fran Stearns // Feb 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I think one of our upper floor porches could serve as a staging pont but then there’s the “mess” problem and, handicapped as I for one am, I would be no part of a solution. NB: Your sandpiper turned into a nice thing on canvas.