photo by Phil Swanson
Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)
Loud rapid “flicka-flicka-flicka,”and a single loud “klee-yer.”
Description: Brown back with black barring; black spotting on underparts; black crescent bib; and white rump patch conspicuous in flight. Male has red or black mustache stripe; and males of “Yellow-shafted” race also have red patch on back of head. Two races are seen in Nebraska: “Yellow-shafted” with yellow wing linings, and “Red-shafted” with salmon pink wing linings.
Behavior: Often forage on the ground for ants and other insects.
Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands, orchards, woodlots, and urban yards and gardens. Apparently avoid dense forest habitats.
Where in Nebraska: Common permanent resident statewide. Most in eastern Nebraska are of the “Yellow-shafted” race, while “Red-shafted” are found in the extreme west. The races readily hybridize.
Fun Facts: One of few woodpeckers that regularly feeds on the ground.