[CT Birds] Northern Flicker behavior

Roy Zartarian royz at royzartarian.com
Mon May 12 10:43:29 EDT 2014


You saw the Flickers doing what BNA Online calls the Wicka (from the
vocalization) dance and describes as a ritualized agonistic behavior,
usually between two members of the same sex, whose purpose is undetermined.
 I had the opportunity to watch the same behavior in my back yard about
three years ago. It's a fascinating phenomenon.

Roy Zartarian
Newington


On Mon, May 12, 2014 at 8:44 AM, Beverly Propen <bpropen at gmail.com> wrote:

> ​5/12  Orange backyard
> I was observing an interesting behavior by 3 Northern Flickers this
> morning.
> 2 Females were on a horizontal branch with bills facing skyward, tilting
> their heads back & forth, bills almost used like swords.  Their tail
> feathers were spread and they did a light dance on the branch.  The male
> flicker was attached to the trunk of the tree underneath them.  His tail
> also spread, then he approached the 2 females on the horizontal branch, he
> displayed similar behavior of bill tilted upward, head back and forth and
> dancing around on the branch.  I assume it was a courtship display, but I
> am puzzled why the 2 females (no malar stripe) were displaying to each
> other.
> Bev Propen, Orange
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