Northern Flicker Sketch

Look who came to visit me. It’s a male northern flicker and he is eating ants in my driveway.

What do I mean, “…in my driveway”?

Here’s what happened: This very large woodpecker was hopping on my driveway. The northern flicker prefers to peck at the ground/grass eating ants and beetles unlike other woodpeckers who like to peck into trees searching for insects. But then I noticed some wonderful northern flicker behavior…..instead of peck, peck, peck, this male flicker stuck his bill in the crack of my blacktop driveway and remained there for several seconds! I imagine his tongue went deep, sucking up all the ants he could! Next, he moved to another crack in my driveway, stuck his bill inside, and became frozen as a statue again! It was really wonderful to watch.

Shortly after however he was spooked and flew off in a hurry. I did get a glimpse of his bright yellow coloring under his wing though. Yessssss!

This is not the best sketch, I have to admit. I had to do it quickly and immediately after I saw him so that his memory would not fade away. I am much more comfortable drawing from something I can see for a long time. Sometimes you just don’t have a choice and must draw from memory!


  1. neat..I see the flickers on the ground allot and wondered about the things they ate and how..I suppose they could get allot of ants in a short period of time in a area like that…

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