Northern Flicker

photo by Phil Swanson

Colaptes auratus

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Loud rapid β€œflicka-flicka-flicka,”and a single loud β€œklee-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.

Bird Map
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.

Northern Flicker - photo by Phil Swanson Northern Flicker - photo by Phil Swanson
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