Northern Flicker

Ken Klapper

bigstock-The bright yellow of this yello

My Spark Bird story:

When I was eight years old my father bought me the "Golden Guide" to birds, one of the classic series developed for children. I had a general interest in nature at the time and was fascinated by seashells, wildflowers, and reptiles... as well as birds. One day I saw two "new" birds on a branch, facing each other and doing a "dance". I was fascinated by the ritual, as well as by the appearance of the birds. They were exotic-looking, with bold yellow and red highlights, black spots, and a "mustache".

Later, I pored through my bird book and discovered they were Northern Flickers. They captured my imagination and from that moment on I took an interest in birds. I thought their display was a mating dance, but when I was older I did some more research and discovered the birds were two males competing with each other to gain courtship advantage. My interest in birding grew over the years. Little did I know at the time that I would be leading groups in birdwatching activities!