Colaptes auratus

Yesterday, the last day of October, Halloween, I rounded an open stretch of blacktop on the south end of Richardson and caught sight of three Northern Flickers as they jumped and danced together, leapfrogging in a flurry of rust-colored wings and white-thatched rumps, their long, single-note calls rising at the end as if in inquiry, so loud I could hear them even over the roar of my truck’s heater and I could only think of the title of that wonderful old Joni Mitchell album, Court and Spark.


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