Today’s project: Northern Flicker on slate about 3×9″. Obviously there’s a story with this one. We found one sitting on the road on our way to town the other day. We had seen them zooming all up and down the road for weeks, so we assumed he had been hit by a car. I got out and caught him with no trouble, but he let out a shriek when I picked him up. Since he seemed strong, I let him go to see if he could fly at all, and he crash landed in the grass and just sat there. So I wrapped a flannel shirt around him and then we drove around with him on the front seat in the shirt, trying to decide what to do. I didn’t know of any wildlife rehabbers on the Island. We went in to visit some friends for a good twenty minutes, leaving him in the warm, quiet darkness of my flannel. When we got back in the truck, his sharp beak was poking out between the threads. I decided maybe he was recovering from shock, and to try to release him again. We took him back to the spot where we had found him, and I carried him over to a brush pile and unwrapped him. As soon as his head was uncovered, he jumped out of the shirt and flew off, lighting briefly in a nearby cedar, and then he was gone. YAY!! Unfortunately my camera wasn’t working at the moment of his capture. But he left me this feather. So I painted this, to commemorate a happy ending.
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