Nikon D300s, Sigma 50-500mm / f4.5-6.3 APO DG HSM, Nikon SB600 speed light

I couldn’t resist to hit the shutter release button yesterday when we had the new snow on the ground and this female Northern Flicker landed on the tree trunk not far from me. Not just because of the additional light by the reflection of the snow, but also for the wonderful colors the bird showed. Their breeding time is between April and July, depending on location, and they might be in courtship by now. That is usually the time when the birds look at their best. For curiosity I looked in my archive and yes, in March the colors look much brighter than during any other time in the winter. Here in Eastern Iowa we see the yellow-shafted race of the Northern Flicker, while in the western part of North America the red-shafted is more common. Populations overlap and hybrids are not uncommon in different parts of the country. I hope you enjoy!