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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Backdoor Flicker Family

    About 3 weeks ago we noticed a male Northern Flicker enlarging a hole in an old, dead tree just off our property. The top of the tree fell into our shed about 5 years ago in bad winds (thankfully minimal damage) so we left the rest for the birds and woodpeckers in particular, so it was nice to see the bird show.

    (Side note: this dead stump also produces a huge crop of Chicken Of The Wood mushrooms every year - bonus!!)

    When I saw the bird start working I attempted to take photographs with my D500 and 500mm from my garage, but it would bolt from the hole as soon as it saw me. So, I decided that I needed to set up a remote trigger. I used my Sigma 150-600mm Sport and a D500 body in order to get enough fps to capture wood flying, put my Vello FreeWave Plus RF trigger on with the remote set to bulb, which when the camera is on Constant High the first press starts firing and the second press stops. This got mounted on a tripod and set about 25-30 feet from the stump, and covered with a white t-shirt to keep the sun from beating on it. Depending on the weather I'll watch from either the garage (cool & windy) or the deck (otherwise) and fire when there's something worth shooting while also manning at least one other camera to catch the rest of the yard.

    The male Flicker digs out the hole and if the female finds it acceptable she does the finishing and they move in, and thankfully this pair like the hole.

    I've since swapped out the D500 for a D750 because I don't need to fps with the current activity, but the pair swap guarding the eggs (we've seen them mating several times) with the male doing evening thru mid-morning duty and the female doing afternoons. It'll be a couple weeks before we see babies, at which time the D500 will go back, but for now I like to have two of them with a 300mm on one and the 500mm on the other available as we're getting a lot of migrants and summer birds coming in.

    Anyway, this is the setup (arrow pointing to their hole)...

    Backdoor Flicker Family-rx001418-copy.jpg


    ...and this is my vantage point on the deck (as you can see I could shoot from there but it would be major cropping)...

    Backdoor Flicker Family-img_2159-copy.jpg


    Here are a few from the 2 weeks I've been doing this. I'm trying to be selective but I could post dozens already. I'll post more in this thread as I get stuff worth sharing. For non-bird nerds, the male Northern Flicker has a mustache and the female does not. This is the eastern variety which has a black mustache and a red 'V' or 'heart' on the back of the head. In the western US there is no color on the back of the head and the male's mustache is red. The yellow under the wings in east goes to an redish-orange in the west, Hence the eastern variety is referred to as 'Yellow-Shafted' and the western as 'Red-Shafted'.

    Backdoor Flicker Family-j55_1972-edit-copy.jpg

    Backdoor Flicker Family-j55_4133-edit-copy.jpg

    Backdoor Flicker Family-j55_4633-edit-2-copy.jpg

    Backdoor Flicker Family-e75_5808-edit-copy.jpg


    › See More: Backdoor Flicker Family
    Thanks/Like hark, Marilynne, Bengan, bluzman, Ironwood, Texas, TwistedThrottle Thanks/liked this post
     
    Jake
    (formerly backdoorhippie)



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Backdoor Flicker Family

    Find the second and last photos to be quite interesting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Woodyg3's Avatar

    Re: Backdoor Flicker Family

    Really nice stuff, Pete! Now I know where the remote camera question came from.
    Woody Green

    Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

    D500, D7200, D7100, D70

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Re: Backdoor Flicker Family

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodyg3 View Post
    Really nice stuff, Pete! Now I know where the remote camera question came from.
    Thanks, Woody. But I gotta ask, why do you keep calling me Pete?! LOL
    Thanks/Like Whiskeyman Thanks/liked this post
     
    Jake
    (formerly backdoorhippie)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Woodyg3's Avatar

    Re: Backdoor Flicker Family

    Quote Originally Posted by BackdoorArts View Post
    Thanks, Woody. But I gotta ask, why do you keep calling me Pete?! LOL
    LOL. Good question, Jake. I have no clue how that got stuck in my brain.
    Thanks/Like Whiskeyman Thanks/liked this post
     
    Woody Green

    Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

    D500, D7200, D7100, D70

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Vixen's Avatar

    Re: Backdoor Flicker Family

    They are GREAT photos. What a clever idea. One to file for future possibilities
    Vixen
    -----------------------------------------------

    Nikon D750
    Nikkor 24 - 120mm lens
    Nikkor 105mm macro lens
    Tamron 150-600mm zoom

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Dawg Pics's Avatar

    Re: Backdoor Flicker Family

    Far from cheating. More like skilled wildlife photography.
    "Remember to gaze up at the night sky because there is a little bit of the cosmos in each of us."


    Um yeahhhh, I shoot a lot of pics of my dogs.
    D500 (DOB 05/26/17), D300, D80, SB-800. RIP-D100
    Sigma 150-600mm DG Contemporary, Sigma 50-150mm f2.8, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8,
    Nikkor Nifty-Fifty.

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Re: Backdoor Flicker Family

    So the Flickers have been active but mainly just taking turns incubating. Sunday my wife saw one carry something out of the nest and she wasn't sure if it was a shell or something else, so yesterday afternoon I set it up again. Male and female rotated in and out and as they left they would always be carrying a poop sac (young birds excrete their poop in a sac that the parent will be able to remove from the nest; bluebirds do the same thing - I think it tends to occur in cavity nesters vs. those who nest openly in trees). So we have babies in the cavity. Probably another week or two before they start showing up at the hole.

    Backdoor Flicker Family-d51_3104-edit-copy.jpg

    Backdoor Flicker Family-d51_3226-edit-copy.jpg
     
    Jake
    (formerly backdoorhippie)

  9. #9
    Happy to be Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: Backdoor Flicker Family

    Wow! Great shots Jake. About the last shot (the poop bag), it looks to me like a tiny bird. Could they be moving them somewhere else? Or could it be one that didn't survive? I'm amazed at the quality you're getting at iso 4000. Is Topaz involved with the post processing?
    I'm beginning to see the LIGHT!
    Please visit my Gallery and my Flickr Gallery

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Danno's Avatar

    Re: Backdoor Flicker Family

    Wow, those are amazing! I was going to ask what Marcel asked specifically about DeNoise AI.
    Dan~~Kentucky

    "The natural man must know in order to believe; The spiritual man must believe in order to know. " ~ Aiden Wilson Tozer ~ "The Dwelling Place of God"

    Nikon Z 6 Nikon D7200 w/Grip, Nikon D700 w/Grip, AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm/1.8G, Tamron 28-75, Tamron 70-200 F/2.8
    Yongnuo Speedlight YN568EX, Vanguard ALTA Pro 264AB Tripod, Vanguard
    SBH-100 ball head Beike Gimbal Head, ARCA Swiss B1 ball head

    https://www.dailywalkinthelight.com





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