North

Woodpeckers make cozy home in Yellowknifer's walls

Every spring for the last 40 years, a breeding pair of Northern flickers has pecked a hole, built a nest and raised their young in Walt Humphries' walls.

Northern flickers have been nesting in Walt Humphries' walls for 40 years

Having a noisy tenant is one thing, but imagine if that tenant damages your house, makes a racket and never pays rent. 

It's something Walt Humphries has been dealing with ever since he moved into his beautiful wood-sided home on Gitzel Street in Yellowknife.

Every spring for the last 40 years, a breeding pair of Yellow-shafted Northern flickers moves in. They peck a hole, build a nest and raise their young in his wall.

He's considered taking steps to evict them, but not very seriously — much to the relief of his neighbours, who love the birds. 

Generations of flickers have been using the Humphries' home as their home. Humphries figures he has about 40 holes in the side of his house.

The baby flickers made their leap from the nest on Wednesday, but there’s already another bird keeping the Humphries and their neighbours’ entertained: a bufflehead duck has built a nest in a nearby bird box.

All photos are courtesy of Chuck Tolley.

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