Bird #351 — Gilded Flicker

colaptes (hammer, to peck with bill) chrysoides

Saturday, March 31, 1984 — 3:40 pm

Saguaro National Monument, East Unit, Arizona

I realize this bird is woefully out of sequence, but when I saw it, it was considered con-specific with the Northern Flicker.  When it was made a species in its own right (again) I decided it would be easier to add it here than to renumber my entire list.

Dad was counseling somebody in the apartment where they were spending the winter. Mom took Sally and me to Saguaro where she had spotted the Golden-crowned Sparrow earlier in the year. This sparrow was something of a straggler in the area, and on one occasion, Mom was able to show the bird to a couple hot-shot birders who came to see it.  While we were feeding cookie crumbs to the White-crowned Sparrows, the Golden-crowned, and a variety of squirrels, I spotted the Gilden Ficker.

It was perched on the side of a saguaro in the picnic area, in a hilly, rocky saguaro forest with a lot of scrub and prickly pear cactus.   I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at it because, in my ignorance, I considered it just another flicker.  I did identify it, but I can’t remember if it was a male or female.  Live and learn.

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