Deep Dive: Northern Flickers

by OBDK on February 20, 2023
The Northern Flicker is a woodpecker species that is unique from other woodpecker species. This is because it will forage on the ground for food instead of just getting it from pecking into trees.1
These birds can be found in grassland and woodland habitats but can also be found in towns. They can be found at suet feeders during the winter.1&2 Their main source of food tends to be ants and beetles, but they’ll also eat seeds.3
They stand almost a foot tall with a wingspan of anywhere between 16 and 20 inches. They have black spots on their fronts and backs, and when they expand their wings the inner parts of their wings may be yellow or red.1 This depends on where they live. Those that live in the eastern part of North America will have yellow feathers, while those that live in the west will have red feathers.3
When it comes to mating, males will try to impress the females and will face off against other males as they display their moves for the female.3 Males and females have different appearances. Male Northern Flickers have a black or red mark on their faces, while females lack that mark.1 When they pair up and excavate a nest, they’ll work together on it.3
Have you seen a Northern Flicker where you live?
Check out all the bird deep dives we’ve done on the blog! Here are some of our recent favorites:
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