Hey, all. I've been enjoying the CBC write-ups. Please keep 'em coming.
Say, just a gentle exhortation here about flickers. Hybrids (or "intergrades") are legion, and pure Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted flickers are difficult to document in the field along and near the I-25 corridor where so many CBCs are centered. First-generation ("F1") adult male hybrids are relatively easily to recognize as such, but others--females, hatch-years, and those pesky backcrosses--are considerably more difficult. I am increasingly persuaded that perhaps we can't say "Yellow-shafted" and "Red-shafted" for a great many of the birds we see in the field.
On the Wed., Dec. 18, Fountain Creek CBC, the two flickers I saw reasonably well were hybrids. One was obvious. This guy:
[image: hybrid flicker 1106 small.png]
Another, perhaps an F2, was less obvious:
[image: hybrid flicker 0905 small.png]
Both of these are adult males. Would I have recognized them as hybrids if they were females, or hatch-years, or hatch-year females? Or hatch-year female backcrosses?? I'm not at all confident of that proposition.
Bottom line: I think we should use "Yellow-shafted" and "Red-shafted" pretty sparingly, at least east of the mountains.