The Feather

FlickerFeatherWebPinkThe feather in our logo is from a quintessentially American bird, the Northern flicker.

Publisher Sandy Compton picked the flicker feather as our symbol after it chose him one magical day on a research trip for Side Trips From Cowboy. He has since found it highly appropriate. Flicker is, in certain native traditions, the keeper of rhythm, a fine totem for storytellers, the best of whom know the value of such. Part of our job at Blue Creek Press is to help people tell their story.

Northern flickers are native to all of North America and parts of Central America,

A male and female flicker hunting bugs one a Douglas fir. (A Wickipedia Commons image by David Margrave.)

Male and female red-shafted Northern flickers hunt bugs together on a Douglas fir in Washington State. (A Wikipedia Commons image by David Margrave.)

and all feature colored feather shafts in their wing and tail feathers. The red-shafted variety lives west of the Continental Divide. Yellow-shafted flickers are present east of the Divide. Along the Divide itself, the shafts are orange.

Flickers are insectivores who make a living, in part, by drilling for bugs living under the bark of trees both living and dead. They have a high-pitched, rhythmic call — ca-ca-ca-ca-ca-ca — and a bent for banging out tattoos on metal roofs and chimneys when they are in the mood for love.

Our feather came from along the Divide (note the orange shaft), near the ghost town of Bannock, just west of Dillon, Montana, and very close to the Nez Perce National Historic Trail, the route of the Nez Perce diaspora during the War of 1877.