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Northern Flicker

Colaptes auratus)


"Red-shafted" Flickers have a brown crown and gray face, with no red crescent on the nape; the male has a red moustachial stripe.


The Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) is an extremely widely distributed woodpecker in North and Middle America. As the species boundaries are currently defined, the range of this species includes most of Canada south to north-central Nicaragua. Formerly, the Northern Flicker was treated as two separate species, the Yellow-shafted Flicker (C. auratus) to the east and north and the Red-shafted Flicker (C. cafer) to the west.


Northern Flickers can be found in open woodlands, open situations, and parks—almost any habitat with at least a few trees (but generally not in dense forest that lack open areas for foraging). The diet consists mainly of ants and other insects, but fruits are eaten as well, especially in fall and winter, and sometimes seeds and nuts. Flickers are often seen foraging on the ground.

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Prescott, Arizona, USA

Spotted on Jun 15, 2013
Submitted on Jun 22, 2013

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