|2 females and 1 male rest between dances.|
Finally the showed up! This time two females and one male would do the courtship dance across the street. In the early mornings they would fly up to the railing of our friend's penthouse and hammer on their metal railing, then caw repeatedly with a devilish laugh.
I took pictures everyday and we watched them flash and jump around the birch, until exhausted they would all perch together until they started up again. Both the male and the females would take turns spending hours in the nest, feeding on the suet paddle I hung on my back porch and eating worms in the lawns down the street.
|Mrs. Flicker landing on nest 1.|
For four weeks now, Eliza and I - and many observant passers by, have been seeing this noisy, brilliant orange ritual unfold. Three days ago, while enjoying our morning coffee, Eliza caught a glimpse of what we were hoping to see - they were relocating their eggs again!! I grabbed my camera and ran outside and crouched behind a parked car so I wouldn't interrupt this serious endeavour.
I took a still shot first! Got him leaving with the third egg, he flew west to the hydro pole behind our favorite restaurant, gleaming white egg pinched in his powerful beak. I refocused on the cavity in the birch and got him returning for the next one. He lands on the tree and caws loudly the same laugh he does after pecking the railing up at the penthouse, then quickly goes in the hole. Within moments his head emerges with another egg, and away he flies to the secondary nest.
|The females dance!|
We continue to watch the Flickers, and they continue to mate, and occupy the nest across the street in the birch tree, and seem to continually tend to the nest down the street where they moved the eggs to. They have blessed me with beautiful photographs, video and sounds. It is so exciting to me that these spectacular birds can be in our midst, and most people don't even notice them. It makes me wonder how much we miss when we don't take the time to be distracted by nature.