Date: 10/11/18 10:50 am
From: Jim Nelson <kingfishers2...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Oddball Flicker behavior & hummer gone?

The Stokes Nature Guide, "A Guide to Bird Behavior" is a good resource
for information on bird behavior.  Volume I (1979), includes the
then-named "Common Flicker".  What you described sounds like what they
refer to as "head-bobbing."  Here is some of what they have to say about it:

"Head-bobbing is the most common visual display of Flickers...It occurs
most in spring and then is seen again in fall just before the birds
migrate south.  When it is done between a male and a female, it concerns
courtship; when it is done between two birds of the same sex, it is
generally competition for a mate or, more rarely, is a territorial
dispute."  They say it is usually accompanied by the "woikawoikawoika"

I have seen such displays between pairs, threesomes or foursomes, and
two birds of the same sex at different times.

Jim Nelson

Bethesda, MD

On 10/10/2018 7:57 PM, JAMES SPEICHER wrote:
> Two flickers faced off on the lower rail of a split rail fence this
> morning in the yard. I wasn't actively looking for the "mustache"
> that would mark either as a male, but think I would have noticed it as
> I observed the pair for almost ten minutes. My belief is that both
> were females.
> While facing off not more than 8 inches apart, the birds would waggle
> their bills in unison from the level to the vertical, tho never
> actually touching bills. Either one would begin the activity, then
> the other would join in. This went on for 10 minutes until I had to
> leave...???
> Last hummer sighting was on the 8th of an imm male that had been
> around for a while. I staked out the feeder for 45' and 30' the last
> two days in mornings, which has been effective in spotting them, but
> no luck.
> Jim Speicher
> BroadRun/Burkittsville area
> [FR] Frederick County MD
> M.O.S. member, Washington [WA] Co Chapter

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