Who Can Name This Bird?

When I was out for a walk yesterday, a passing police car stopped to watch what I was doing. I think I probably looked suspicious. Perhaps someone phoned in to say that there was a woman standing outside their house and taking photos of their tree.

In fact, I was trying to identify a bird that I had not heard in this neighbourhood before, and I could not name it when I saw it. I took pictures with both my cell phone and my camera and this is the only half-decent picture out of all of them.

The bird was very high in a very large tree.

I did manage to record its call sound.  Here it is:

When I watched the bird fly away, I saw that it had brown underwings. The police watched me watch it fly away, and then we all left the area. The police must have decided I was harmless.

After I got home I spent a long time on three different bird identification sites, but could not find what I was looking for. The closest I came was a flicker, but the bird call was different.

If anyone knows the name of this bird, it will satisfy my curiosity and I will be grateful.


Mystery solved!  Thank you to DeAnna for identifying this bird. It is a Red-Shafted Northern Flicker.


  1. Hm it doesn’t seem similar enough to anything in my book on Alberta birds. I thought maybe a Brown Thrasher, but the book says they like to stay hidden and close to the ground. Hopefully someone who knows about birds can figure it out!

    1. Yes!! I think that’s it! The female Red-shafted Flicker looks like my bird. When I found it on a birding site, the call sound was different from the bird I saw, but this definitely looks the same.

  2. So cool! I was going to say “some kind of Flicker?” so happy you got an ID! We get some interesting creatures in this place. I love seeing them all but especially the ones that just pop in and create some new excitement.

    I’m shaking my head at that cop. You’ve got some good bird watcher street cred now!
    They watch me too. I had one follow me slooooowly one day when I was on my way to work. I have a bit of a weave because of a balance issue so maybe he thought I was drunk? I don’t even think my weave is that obvious though…so??? I ignored him completely and eventually he went away but I was MAD about it. Still am,lol.

    1. Now that DeAnna has identified it, I have found that the Northern Flicker has several different call sounds, which is what threw me off, originally.

      I like to think that the police are looking out for our best interests. Maybe they were trying to identify my bird, too! And, perhaps they wanted to make sure you were safe.

  3. Yes, I would have said Flicker too, but not known what type. Lovely bird. While Glenn and I were in Qatar, we saw a hoopoe bird. It’s quite extraordinary. No one we talked to in Doha had seen one—but it is native to the Middle East; in fact it’s the national bird of Israel.

    This is not my photo. I do have a couple of pictures, but neither shows off the plumage like this one:

  4. It really is! Glenn and I were walking in a park in downtown Doha when we saw it. I had just said to Glenn (and I am not kidding), we sure haven’t seen any interesting birds since we came here. We sat on a park bench and this guy landed right in front of us!

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