Tag Archives: northern flicker

Flicker Mystery – love, suspense, heartache, forgiveness – The End

To start at the beginning of this love story, click on the tag: Flicker Family, at the bottom of this post.  Then click on Older Entries (until there are no more) to get to the first post.

This is the last post in the Flicker Family saga of 2013.

The end is shrouded in mystery as the parents seem to have vanished.  Is this what happens when flicker parents have more than 2 chicks?  They are out-numbered and too busy to help any more than one-on-one?  As a human parent, I can relate.

If you remember in my post, And Then There Were None, the last flicker chick ventured out of the nest and lost his footing.  He flew a little better than a rock to the ground.

fledged flicker chick
Still building strength

Three days later we heard his “I’m hungry” call from the ground and looked out to find him on our path to the Alsea River.

fledged flicker chick
Premature Fledge

He was catching insects.  I’m glad to see that he is eating but I’m worried about him being on the ground.  He seem unstable as he gets around and I told him that his feet aren’t designed to work that way.  The child in me wanted to rescue him, or at least sit down and see if he wouldn’t mind being close to me.  But then the voice of reason (Don) said to me, scare him so he knows he can fly.  (For some reason these are opposite behaviors for Don and I.)

But anyway, I walked towards him quickly to scare him and sure enough he flew and landed on the nearby tree.

fledged flicker chick
He can fly!

I was relieved.  I’m sure he just has to continue gaining strength before he’ll be flying further away from the nest.  He flew back down to the path and then to the other side of the house and back.  Then he flew away and we haven’t seen or heard him for 3 days.

I wonder where flickers go in the summer?

I wonder if he’ll ever see his parents again and if they’ll recognize each other?

I doubt that animals hold grudges like people do.  Wouldn’t that be nice – to just keep on doing what you were born to do without holding a grudge for obstacles encountered along the way!

And then there were none

was none?  or were none?  Grammar is not my strength.

Over the last few days I have suspected that the flicker chicks were fledging one by one.

flicker chick at nest entrance
Mom? Dad? Where are you?

The parents stay away longer between feedings.  I only saw 2 chicks in the nest yesterday.  This morning just one was left.

flicker chick venturing out of nest
Maybe they’ll hear me better if I just step out here

I didn’t see the parents at all today. Of course I don’t have time to sit and watch all day.  But I usually see them if I’m out there for 10 or 15 minutes.

flicker chick losing footing
Whoa! That was close!

This one doesn’t look as mature as the other two did.  I was watching it through the camera lens and suddenly it started to venture outside the nest.  She flapped her wings a couple times to regain her footing; chirping the whole time.  But then she lost her footing and she flapped as she drifted to the ground.  She landed in the tall grass.  She was quiet for a long time.  Then started chirping again.  We didn’t see her again.  I don’t know if she’ll try to find a tree or just hunker down there for the night.  We didn’t see the parents come back either.