Flicker, Northern

Northern FlickerLatin name: Colaptes auratus

Length, wingspan: 12.5″, 20″

What they eat: Insects, berries, seeds, suet

Plants that attract: Trees (both coniferous and deciduous), along with woodlands and wetlands

Where they nest: In tree cavities or in large nest boxes (7″ sq., 16″ deep, 3″ entrance hole)

My observations: In this region of the country, we have red-shafted Northern Flickers, which refers to the color seen in their wings. Flickers are one of the most beautifully-marked visitors to my garden. Like other woodpeckers, these guys hunt for insects under tree bark but also poke around in the ground to find them. They are crazy about the suet we put out for them, too. During spring nesting season, the male flickers will pound┬átheir beaks on anything that makes plenty of noise (i.e., chimney pipes and roof vents), hoping to get a female’s attention… much to the dismay of homeowners trying to sleep in on a Saturday morning! Both males and females have a black bib, while males have a red malar stripe pointing outwards from the corners of their mouths. Absolutely gorgeous birds! They are in our garden year-round.

In this video, you’ll see a female Northern Flicker doing a bit of a display for a nearby male, which then shows up in the second half:

The following footage shows a male Flicker hanging out in an aspen tree on a breezy day:

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