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If you happen to be standing under a wooden statue up here at Grouse Mt and hear a sharp, and fairly loud, chirping noise above you -  look up!  You might be standing under a nest of Northern Flickers inside the statue.

Northern Flickers are members of the woodpecker family but are more often seen foraging on the ground using their long strong bills to dig into rotting wood and fallen leaf litter.  While feeding they will quite often 'flick' the wood and leaves around in search of prey, mostly bugs and insects like ants, and hence their name.  They have an incredible tongue which wraps right around their skull and can extend up to two inches outside of their bill.  They use this extra reach to grab small bugs from deep inside holes in the foliage. 

Flickers are cavity nesters - which means they look for old trees or stumps to excavate a hole into where they can lay eggs and raise their young.  They also prefer locations where they can have a view of their surroundings to watch for predators.  Our carved statues make a perfect location as they were constructed out of naturally fallen trees which already had a lot of holes and/or hollow interiors.  They also offer great vantage points.

Flickers lay 3-6 eggs and incubate them for 11 to 13 days before the young birds hatch.   After hatching, the young will stay in the nest for up to 28 days (4 weeks) before fledging and leaving the nest to follow the adults around and learn foraging behavior.  At the moment we estimate the birds in this nest, three of the little guys, to be about three weeks or three and a half weeks old. 

So anytime in the next week they may begin their journey out into the world.  As it is our Summer of Flight we're quite keen to see these young birds take their first flight of their lives.  We will be watching and hopefully observe when that happens!

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Please be aware, due to inclement weather and high winds the Skyride, Chalet facilities, Downhill Area and all Outdoor Activities will be on standby for the remainder of the day. Please check back after 6am for our operating status and up-to-date snow report! 

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