The Northern Flicker

Northern Flickers are one of my favorite woodpeckers. When they fly, you will see a bit of red on their wing if they are in the west. And yellow if they are in the East. Oregon is in the west, so their wings have red in them.

Female Northern Flicker

Female Northern Flicker

Notice the difference in features. The male has a red spot and a black spot on their head, but the female just has a plain grey-brown head.

Male Northern Flicker

Male Northern Flicker


In my previous post about Belted Kingfishers, I mentioned that they love to nest in burrows. Well Northern Flickers sometimes nest in old burrows that the Belted Kingfisher made. Though they most commonly nest in holes in trees like most woodpeckers. When you walk around, you see lots of dead trees with holes in them, that is where Northern Flickers like to nest. They will nest 6 to 15 feet off the ground, but rarely  and amazingly, they can nest up to 100 feet off the ground.

They hang around in Forests, open fields, mountains, and other places with lots of trees. But I have seen them in neighborhoods, and places by ponds and wildlife.


I have seen them peck at the ground many times. And people usually see woodpeckers pecking at trees. The Northern Flicker prefers getting food from the ground instead of the trees like most woodpeckers.

Ants, beetles, and other bugs found on the ground, are its favorite food. Ant larvae are even better for the Northern Flicker, they will dig into the dirt with their beaks where the ants live and try to retrieve the larvae. They will also eat seeds, berries, snails, ivy, poison oak, and other insects and berries.


About faithelise

I love learning about species of birds and want to be an Ornathologist. Writing about birds is my passion and I love every part of it!
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