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Northern Flicker by ursulav Northern Flicker by ursulav
"Art photography" seems a little grandiose for my photos--I photograph things in order to make it look like what it looks like, my compositions are always dead center, and I am not at all arty--but for lack of a better category....I have a suet feeder on the deck, and a tripod set up in the living room, pointing at it, and I have been trying (amid many other things I should have been doing instead) to document some of the visitors to the feeder. Ideally, I'm getting photo reference to paint later, but since I may never get around to it, I figure I'd post the photo for now.

The problem, of course, is that the little birds see me coming and fly off, and I'm not going to stand by the window all day until they accept me as some sort of weird tree. So when I see something on the feeder, I have to fling myself at the floor and do a commando skulk across the carpet to the tripod and camera, crawl to my knees very slowly, and then turn it on and focus it and all that. The birds either think I'm dangerously insane or hysterically funny, I'm not sure which. After a week or so of my Stealth Ninja Birder Attacks, they have evidentally come around to thinking I'm just a harmless lunatic, so I've been getting better photos.

Anyway! This is a Northern Flicker, a type of woodpecker found in the area, which began coming to my feeder this winter and now I see 'em every day. I love their colors.
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tomasfourhorns Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually saved one of these from the road outside my grandmother's house. It was roughed up by a car(just stunned) and I had ran across the street to get it. I took it to the backyard with some of the bee moths I use for fishing. A good ten minutes afterwards, and the little lady flew away.
Lucychromosome Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2006   General Artist
i love flickers// good shot of him :)
diosaperdida Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2006  Professional General Artist
You're worse than me trying to photograph finches...or maybe better, as I have yet to suceed.
La-Vita-a-Bella Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2005   Photographer
Very nice shot! I took a pic of a woodpecker a couple of weeks ago but didn't know what kind it was until today. I love your description about how you are going about getting your bird pictures. Very entertaining! :D
mojaam Featured By Owner May 17, 2005
Interesting description, but I think it's more then "photographing things in order to make it look like what it looks like"... It's the time, effort, creativity, and dedication the artist put in the recreation of the photo that really matters.
steelraven Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2005
RivkaZ Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2005   Digital Artist
oO I remember when those things attacked my house. We kept putting metal plates over their holes, but it did anything but stop them.
Then, we put plastic siding on the house. In the Spring, there twenty some odd Flickers sitting around on our driveway looking disconsolate. :heart:
skull Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2005  Professional General Artist
You'd be surprised by the way the birds think... Maybe they fly off, because they think they're scaring YOU! I have learnt that birds (and cats, but that's another story) are way smarter than your average human... Or they generally think so... Which is pretty much the same thing seeing they are neither able nor willing to disucss it with us :)
Reborn-atheist Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
the story was worth the strange photo
yvilmonster Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2005  Professional General Artist
I would pay good money to see the stealth ninja of photography at work.

My mom is particularily impressed with this picture...she randomly comes in and looks over my shoulder when I 'squee' at your work, and is insisting that I tell you about her nest of flickers at the beach...

two summers ago my mom had her afternoons off and she'd go down to the beach to enjoy the sun, and park herself by a tree with a particular hole in it, one day she went and their was a whole nest full of baby flickers peeping thier bald little heads out waiting for their food to come back by way of their mother. She watched them all summer until they left the nest. It was pretty cool.
Penguindood Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2005
I have seen these in my area! I believe that you have captured the essence. ;) Good job. I love your work.
Megilindir Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2005
It is a wonderful photo. Artsy doesn't neccesarily have to be new and different, you could just consider it traditional :). Anywho, I'm sure we would all love to see this guy in one of your wonderful drawings.
alexss Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2005  Professional Digital Artist
wou it looks like the bird was in a pose for your photo!jajaja, nice photo man!!
suzukigrrl Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2005   Traditional Artist
i once had the privilege of watching a northern flicker digging in an anthill. very spiffy birds. nice photo.
supergirlanna Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2005
woah... it looks... big.... buit very pretty! most of all that red dotty thing!
lagatafritz Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2005
:clap: wonderfull pic!!!

itīs great and ready to be draw! :D
ParallelPenguins Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2005   Digital Artist
WOW!!! I went camping once and saw a bird something like this one... but I couldn't get a pic of it no matter how I tried. I couldn't get pics of any of the animals so I satiated myself with pics of pretty flowers and weird trees. I am amazed you got this good a pic. It really is a good pic. Perfect for referance. Can't wait to see what your imagination may or may not do with this pic in a painting. :D
darkart42 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
What a fabulous story, and a fabulous shot! Good save!
ArkNorth Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
Gonna have ta get you a remote trigger for that camera (there are some available for 35mms, and there are some digitals thathave then built in).

PixieTears Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
ohh. beautiful. i wish i could see them every day too.
nice shot.
oh you cracked me up with Stealth Ninja Birder Attacks! :D
Squeak-the-Freak Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005  Hobbyist
I love flickers, we put berries out for them in our backyard.
You really caught him standing still....which isn't as easy as it might look O.-
BLvideogames Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
Five-Farthings Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
This is a perfectly brilliant shot. Excellent. And the description! :rofl: At least the commando skulking has paid off! And probably the carpet burns as well!
CityCatz Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
xD i fav this pic for the description!
Therezin Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
A damn good piece of wildlife photography. Great shot.
CityCatz Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
luvs your description:heart::heart:
KungFuCatfish Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
any idea how they got the name?

and what area if you don't mind...
ursulav Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
North Carolina, in the clue on the name!
T774 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
This is awesome! The detail on the bird... and considering you took this at a focal lngth of 47mm... You must have been very close to the bird!
Therezin Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
A lot of the smaller digital cameras (such as mine) have a small sensor and only use relatively short focal lengths. I've taken photos with my digital at a focal length of about 8mm before, which would actually be inside the body of my 35mm SLR.
T774 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
Yes, but most cameras record the focal length as it would be with a 35mm film SLR. At least that's what my two cameras do in their EXIF headers.
Therezin Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2005
I think it must vary between manufacturers then - I've seen a load that put it as the 35mm equivalent, and about as many that say the actual length.
T774 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2005
Tattiana Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
Wow!! i really like this, and I say its arty even if you dont XD!!! I like how you've got the shot in really close to cut out a lot of the background. Cropped compositions are always best so thumbs up.
Jetsam42 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
Nice shot! :clap:
Merillian Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
ha ha great technique-your photo is great :)
tumbleweedink Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2005
That's a great shot. Acting like a deranged foot soldier must be paying off. =)
littlelisa222 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005   Traditional Artist
Cute little buggers, aren't they? They're normally up in the more mountainous areas near where I live, but at least one has decided to come visit the suburbs and make it his early morning habit to bang the crap out of a nut on our roof, and just over my bedroom. I wake up around 7 to a small "thunk, thunk, thunk" right above my head.

Then I just shake my fist at the ceiling and go back to sleep. That will teach him.
thetenutso Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
lovely shot. excellent lighting.
noruff Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
great pic
tigeress66 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
If you ever need local bird references, I take a lot of bird pictures... we get tons of different types at our house because we're in the woodsy/lake area and we have many feeders.... So if you ever need a reference to a bird you can't get, feel free to ask! :)
kumagorounokabocha Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
ok... how come i can't get the birdies to stay still for me? you must have some magical power... o_Ox

he's so pretty! despite it not being "arty" (which is relative anyway) it's a really nice shot! :star:
ch0sen Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
it's cool to see one of your references... and as always, your comments on it are happily entertaining. aside from the fact that you don't seem to consider yourself an artful photographer, this really is a nice shot... it's difficult to get that kinda quality without some sort of psychological "in" with the boidies. noice stuff

pretty bird *click*
sleepyhead12567 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
i would love to see that ninja commando move.... sounds like fun hehehe

great shot :D im horrible at taking pictures of birds
morthonkdgoblinator Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
great picture. you might wanna turn the saturation up and the drakness up just a little. the overall brightness cancells out some of the aestetic appeal.
CH3-CO-O-CH3 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
that is a beatyfull piece to my idea, could do with a nice border though, but if you're pic aint art then your words sure are :) u wreite awsome " artist's comments "


m second look maybe a tad of contrast?
moonbeamswift Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
Hahahahahaha, I saw this and thought you'd carved it into the trunk

I was about to reel off a long list of expletives, but tis a photograph!

Altho it does look slightly woodish... :S
CaptainQuirk Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
Cool, this is an unusually detailed shot to get - birds tend to fly away before anyone takes their picture. I guess they're camera shy?
Thene Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
The image I get of your stalking makes me laugh. That is a pretty bird. I love how their tail feathers are adapted to help them stick to trees like that. Neato!
Good luck with future birding!
kashuarashi Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
Wow, great shot! Not "artsy" perhaps, but a damn fine veiw of the flickery-ficker! I wish we could get a shot like that of the one we have 'round here...
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Submitted on
February 17, 2005
Image Size
105 KB


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Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/294 second
Focal Length
47 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Feb 17, 2005, 11:27:16 AM