Wednesday, April 17, 2013
A Feather for Packrat
On April 1, fellow blogger Desert Packrat (desertpackrat.blogspot.com) posted an image of a feather he had run across in his peregrinations in the Chihuahan Desert outside Las Cruces, New Mexico. I suggested that the feather had come from the tail of a Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker (Colaptes auratus). Packrat replied that he had observed flickers at his home high in the Sacramento Mountains east of Las Cruces, but never in the low desert.
During a walk last evening, Kali and I came across the shed tail feather of a Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker, the eastern counterpart to the western red-shafted form. Packrat's and my feathers are identical except for coloration. Though he may never have seen one in the low desert, I'm reasonably certain that a flicker had shed a tail feather in Packrat's desert.