[CT Birds] Reading 10

Dennis Varza dennisvz at optonline.net
Thu Sep 22 07:18:00 EDT 2011

Reading 10
Flicker, Golden-winged Woodpecker

This is one of our largest as well as noisiest Woodpeckers. When he  
begins to shout his monotonous information about the the rain, * all  
other birds may as well remain silent, for his clamor makes the  
welkin ring•!

*Most writers render his song thus: “Wet, wet, wet, wet, wet, wet” etc.
•make the welkin ring make a very loud sound : the crew made the  
welkin ring with its hurrahs.
ORIGIN Old English wolcen [cloud, sky] ; related to Dutch wolk and  
German Wolke.

The Cuckoo knows the value of silence, the Flicker does not.

The Flicker is a noisy aggressive bird, who publishes his whereabouts  
immediately upon his arrival wht a clamor equal to that of the  
hysterical hen announcing the new-laid egg! The Cuckoo on the  
contrary, is a retiring, quiet character who falteringly and smoothly  
announces his return to the “old stand” with due apology to those who  
may possibly dissapprove.  The flicksr souds as if he were whistling  
for the dogs to drive him off, the Cuckoo sounds as if he were  
expostulating against such rude treatment. The Flicker’s voice  
resembles a monotonous fortissimo performance on the oboe, the  
Cuckoo’s pianissimo responds from the ocarina*

*A terra-cotta instrument with a hollow rater sweet tone,, not unlike  
ha of an organ pipe.

He is a bird of character otherwise he would never have accumulated  
so many labels. Mr Chapman says that are thirty-six, but a few of the  
most familiar ones will show the tendency of man to poke fun at him— 
Wake-up, Yarrup, plut, High-hole, Woodwall, Yellow-hammer, Yucker,  
Flicker, Hittock, Clape Harry Wicket, etc. . . . . . .

. . . . . . and a joker in the fullest sense when one catches sight  
of him bowing and scraping to the other sex in a series of bobs p and  
down with tail and wings stiffly outspread uttering the while a  
significant, you-see, you-see!  Audubon testifies to the cheerful  
disposition of the bird, especially when in captivity, as follows:  
“The Golden-winged Woodpecker never suffers Its naturally lively  
spirits to droop. It feeds well, and by the way of amusement will  
continue to destroy a much furniture in a day as can well be mended  
by a different kind of workman in a week.”

Dennis Varza

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