Northern Flicker: Medium woodpecker, black-barred brown back, white rump, black tail. Underparts are black-spotted pale brown with black crescent on breast. Face is gray with brown crown and forehead. Legs and feet are gray. There is a Red-shafted (shown here) and a Yellow-shafted race.
Range and Habitat
Northern Flicker: Resident from Alaska east through Manitoba to Newfoundland and south throughout the U.S. Northernmost birds are migratory. Prefers forest edges and open woodlands approaching savannas.
The Northern Flicker has a large range, estimated globally at 15,000,000 square kilometers. Native to North and Central America and nearby island nations, this bird prefers forest ecosystems, though it can live on arable or pasture land or in urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 16,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of significant decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Northern Flicker is Least Concern.
Northern Flickers use a drumming technique to attract a mate. Unfortunately for many people, they often practice on the metal flues of fireplaces.
Hybrids between the red-shafted and yellow-shafted subspecies are common where populations overlap.
The yellow-shafted subspecies is the state bird of Alabama.
A group of flickers are collectively known as a "guttering", "menorah", and "Peterson" of flickers.