Northern Flicker

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Colaptes auratus

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is a large woodpecker, with a slim rounded head, slightly downcurved bill and long flared tail that tapers to a point.
It is native to most of North America, parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands, and is one of the few woodpecker species that migrate.

Adults are brown with black bars on the back and wings.
Males have a tan head, gray crown, red nape, black moustache and a black crescent on the breast. Underparts are light tan with dense black spotting (lower breast, flanks and belly). Tail is black-tipped, undertail coverts and wing lining are yellow.
Females are slightly smaller and lack the black malar stripe. The black breast crescent is smaller.
Juveniles resemble adults but have grayer head and have some bars on crown, black lores, smaller black breast crescent, more spotted plumage and dull yellow underparts.

They sing while flying. Its song is a loud “wick-wick-wick-wick-wick”. Individual notes sound like a loud "klee-yer” and a squeaky “flick-a, flick-a, flick-a”.

Mainly feeds on insects, especially ants and beetles that they gather from the ground. They also eat fruits and seeds, especially in winter.

Lives in wooded areas, with stand of dead trees. It also likes open areas, forest edges, clearings, burnt areas, agricultural lands and residential areas, parks and large gardens.

Ranges from Alaska to Quebec, and South throughout the entire United States.
Winters in the southern part of its range, and in northern Mexico.
It can also be found in Grand Cayman, Cuba and as far south as the highlands of Nicaragua.

Its nest is excavated in dead tree trunks, or in a dead part of live trees, or telephone poles.
The female lays 3 - 12 white and glossy eggs and incubated by both parents for 11 - 16 days.



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