The Northern Flicker has incredible strength in her lower body and tail feathers. She uses them to help balance her as she pecks out a nesting hole.
The Flicker (ABOVE) takes precaution in between hole pecking and digging chores to look out for predators. But she’s not far removed from her work, as her tail remains in anchoring position.
Periodically, she disappears into the hole she’s digging, turns around, comes out half way (ABOVE) and “spits” the wood chips to the ground. She repeats this over and over until the hole she desires for nesting has been deepened and formed to her liking.
Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg