A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. So what about a bird in the fireplace?

I heard some some thumping and bumping coming from my chimney. When I opened the flue a rather large bird dropped down into the fireplace. It was gorgeous – brilliant red/orange feathers and a dramatic red handlebar moustache spiralling out from its beak. I tried to capture it in the hearth but it escaped and flew around the house for a while until it crashed into a window. Stunned, it stopped long enough for me to capture it in a garbage can and I released it outside. It was a little worse for wear, but it will live to tell the tale.

The flicker is part of the woodpecker family. They have dramatic red plumage under their wings and tail and a large beak used to dig ants which are their primary food. They are large, about 12 to 14 inches or 30 to 35 cm in length. They visit Bragg Creek from May to October.

You can hear their call here:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_flicker/sounds