Northern Flicker

Colaptes auratus

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

NOFL

Code 6

COLAUR

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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Copyright © 2018 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Northern Flicker has a large range, estimated globally at 15,000,000 square kilometers. Native to North and Central America and nearby island nations, this bird prefers forest ecosystems, though it can live on arable or pasture land or in urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 16,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of significant decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Northern Flicker is Least Concern.

VOTE: ILLUSTRATION

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SUMMARY

Overview

Northern Flicker: Medium woodpecker, black-barred brown back, white rump, black tail. Underparts are black-spotted pale brown with black crescent on breast. Face is gray with brown crown and forehead. Legs and feet are gray. There is a Red-shafted (shown here) and a Yellow-shafted race.


Range and Habitat North America

Northern Flicker: This species breeds from Alaska east through Manitoba to Newfoundland and south throughout the U.S. and into Mexico and Cuba. It is a resident from approximately the U.S.-Canada border southward, as the northernmost birds are migratory. Preferred habitats include forest edges and open woodlands approaching savannas.


Range and Habitat Hawaii


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • Northern Flickers use a drumming technique to attract a mate. Unfortunately for many people, they often practice on the metal flues of fireplaces.
  • Hybrids between the red-shafted and yellow-shafted subspecies are common where populations overlap.
  • The yellow-shafted subspecies is the state bird of Alabama.
  • A group of flickers are collectively known as a "guttering", "menorah", and "Peterson" of flickers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

Northern Flicker A1

  • Title: Northern Flicker A1
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: "Peah" calls are given by both sexes during the nesting season.
  • Location: AZ
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Northern Flicker B1

  • Title: Northern Flicker B1
  • Recordist: Richard E Webster
  • Description: Long call is a repeated "wik-wik-wik", usually given in the spring.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Northern Flicker B2

  • Title: Northern Flicker B2
  • Recordist: Richard E Webster
  • Description: Drumming.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Northern Flicker U1

  • Title: Northern Flicker U1
  • Recordist: Ross Gallardy
  • Description: Repeated squeaky "peah" calls.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Lang Elliott Sound

Northern Flicker 5

  • Title: Northern Flicker 5
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Drumming and "wik-wik-wik" calls.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: MB

Northern Flicker 7

  • Title: Northern Flicker 7
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Interaction calls.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Northern Flicker 9

  • Title: Northern Flicker 9
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Nestling calls.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: CA

Similar Sounding Xeno-Canto

Gilded Flicker XX1

  • Title: Gilded Flicker XX1
  • Recordist: Scott Olmstead
  • Description: Long call is a series of "wik-wik-wik" notes.
  • Location: AZ
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Pileated Woodpecker H1

  • Title: Pileated Woodpecker H1
  • Recordist: Mike Nelson
  • Description: Rapid "wuk" calls are used as territorial and alarm calls.
  • Location: AL
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Similar Sounding Lang

Gilded Flicker 1

  • Title: Gilded Flicker 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Call is a long series of loud "wik-wik-wik" notes.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: AZ

Pileated Woodpecker 1

  • Title: Pileated Woodpecker 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Rapid "wuk" series of calls used as territorial and alarm calls.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NY

Voice Text

"flicker", "wicka-wicka-wicka", "kleeer"

Vocalization

Northern Flicker: Song is a loud, repeated "flicker" or "wicka-wicka-wicka"; also makes a loud "kleeer."

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Chris Vest

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X