Throughout the Year
Northern Flicker Facts
With leopard-spotted bellies and tiger-striped backs and wings, northern flickers are not your everyday woodpecker. For the most part, you can find northern flickers in an unexpected place: on the ground, foraging for ants and beetles. (Though, on occasion, you’ll catch one knocking away at a tree trunk, more like Woody.)
Black-spotted tan bellies and brown-and-black striped backs and wings. Red crescent on the nape of the neck and a black band on the chest. Males have a distinct black cheek stripe which females lack. Most northern flickers found in the Eastern U.S. are “yellow-shafted,” with lemon-yellow undersides to their wings. (Northern flickers in the West are “red-shafted.”)
Open spaces at forest edges, and in parks and yards.
Northern flickers sing in flight and have a long, 15-second call that sounds like kweeka-kweeka-kweeka-kweeka. They forage on the ground, and their feeding habits prove beneficial to farmers and gardeners, for they’ll gladly consume European corn borers, aphids, and other pests.
Ants and beetles, small invertebrates; berries, nuts, and seeds.
The Northern flicker’s song is a long, stuttering wikwikwikwikwikwik and its call is a more spaced-apart kyeer-kyeer-kyeer.
More Northern Flicker Photos