Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
In the West, there are two forms of the Northern Flicker, both once considered separate species. The Gilded Flicker, a bird of the deserts, has a brown crown and yellow wing linings; otherwise, it looks and behaves like this bird, the Red-shafted Flicker. A third form, the Yellow-shafted Flicker, is common in the East and sometimes visits the West in winter. Flickers are the only woodpeckers that frequently feed on the ground.

Identification 11-14". Brown above with dark spots and bars; buff-white below with black spots and with black patch on upper breast; face gray, with red mustache; pinkish-orange wing linings and white rump patch visible in flight.

Voice A loud, repeated wik-wik-wik or flicker-flicker-fiicker; also a loud kleer.

Habitat Woodlands and forests; Gilded Flicker in deserts.

Range Breeds throughout North America to northern limit of trees; Red-shafted and Gilded principally in the West; some northern populations move south in winter.

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