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These Northern Flickers at Starr Hollow Golf Club, ten miles west of Granbury, Hood County, Texas on October 5, 1999 were almost missed as we walked by on the road; initially they were head-high within the lower foliage, only seven feet from us. Their presence was given away only by the quiet, low-pitched "wer-wer-wer-wer-wer" that emanated from the leaves every 15 - 20 seconds.
Eventually they climbed out into view and proceeded to enthrall us for more than an hour with their behavior:
They stayed very close to each other, moving to be level with each other when possible; every 15 - 20 seconds one of them (mostly the male) would initiate a 3 - 4 second joint display whereby they would bob and sway their heads from side to side (criss-crossing each other) with jerky small stereotyped movements of the head/bill (somewhat like a stop-motion film) - plus the very quiet calls described above; this was accompanied by tail-fanning, and about five or six times (out of dozens of such events) the wings were spread and a small flutter included - and once they gently grabbed bill-tips during such a flutter (see below).
As you can see, this apparently pair-bonding couple consisted of a male yellow-shafted bird (by size probably the form auratus) and a female red-shafted bird (probably of the interior form collaris); this in itself is interesting due to the North-Central Texas location, where red-shafted birds are quite scarce or rare - but is it normal for Flicker pairs of any combination to be behaving in this way in October?: