I have had a BLAST taking pictures and identifying birds. Honestly, it feels really neat to stop and really begin to look at things for the first time–consciously, intentionally, knowingly. This applies spiritually, too, but I’m not going there tonight (or am I?).
I looked outside today, just a quick glance, and saw a bird POUNDING its beak into the ground. I grabbed my camera and snagged this in the neighbors yard. It’s a Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted kind). The markings were gorgeous, both top-side wings and the underbelly/chest. Never seen a beak like this on a bird either. It rivals many woodpeckers, but it is in that family. Here’s two pics I was quite proud of, mostly because I was able to get him on film (it’s a ‘him’ because of the black mustache that runs from the beak backward). I used Aperture to zoom in (my 210mm wouldn’t zoom THAT close). Enjoy and if you HAPPEN to see one of these, well, now you’ll know what it is.