Description of the Northern Flicker
Is a large bird measuring between 25 to 30 centimetres long. The back and wings are brown/tan and black-barred with a whitish or puffy breast with black spots and a wide black band across the breast.
Their appearance differs depending on where they live. In the east the bird is known as the yellow-shafted flicker since it has yellow under its wings. In the west lives the red-shafted flicker with its red under wings, under tail, and moustache.
Voice of the Northern Flicker:
“Woikawoikawoika” call used when courting.
Habitat of the Northern Flicker:
Northern flickers can be found throughout North America in parks, suburbs, farmlands, woodlands, and deserts. Where the bird ranges overlaps, different flickers sometimes interbreed, creating more varied characteristics.
Mating Habits of the Northern Flicker:
Head bobbing accompanied by the birds “woikawoikawoika” call, is done by mated pairs as part of courtship.
Nesting Habits of the Northern Flicker :
As a cavity nester the flicker will excavate a nest in a tree, post anywhere from 1 to 30 meters above ground. The female will lay 7-9 white eggs that will be incubated by both male and female for 11-12 days. The young birds will leave the nest in 25-28 days after hatching.
Feeding Habits of the Northern Flicker:
Unlike many others in the Pilelea family, (woodpeckers) these birds are ground feeders foraging for ants, which are 45% of its diet, in addition to catching insects in the air, they have also been known to feed on fruit, berries, and seeds.
This bird eats more ants than any other North American bird. Its tongue extends almost three inches beyond its beak, which is ideally suited to this purpose.