Northern Flickers are large, brown woodpeckers with handsome black-scalloped plumage. When they fly you’ll see a flash of color in the wings – yellow if you’re in the East, red if you’re in the West – and a bright white flash on the rump. Flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill.
Look for flickers in open habitats near trees, including woodlands, edges, yards, and parks. In the West you can find them in mountain forests all the way up to treeline.
Northern Flickers spend lots of time on the ground, and when in trees they’re often perched upright on horizontal branches instead of leaning against their tails on a trunk. They fly in an up-and-down path using heavy flaps interspersed with glides, like many woodpeckers.