Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is a large, brownish woodpecker that lives throughout North America.  They tend to forage for their meals more on the ground than in trees like other woodies.  According to Sibley Flickers in the east generally have yellow undersides to their tail and wing feathers.  Sibley also states that those in the west have a red/orange underside to their tail and wings.  In Arizona there is a subspecies called a Gilded Flicker.  In addition to the generic Northern Flicker eBird also lists several sub-species-Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted,) Northern Flicker (Red-shafted,) Northern flicker (intergrade,) and Northern/Gilded Flicker that might be found here in the Texas Panhandle.  If you type in anything other than the plain Northern Flicker moniker, though, eBird flags it as a rarity for some reason.  As you look through the photos, notice that in the yellow-shafted varieties  the male and the female  have a red crescent on the nape of his neck, and in the red-shafted race the males have a red mustaches and the females have no red at all on their heads.  There’s also a photo towards the end where the bird has a red crescent and a red mustache that I guess is what ebird refers to as an intergrade.

Like most of the US we have flickers year round, but they seem to be more numerous in the winter.  I commonly see both red- and yellow-shafted varieties so I thought I share a few photos I’ve taken over the last few years.  I especially like the series of the adult Yellow-shafted feeding the juvenile.  Enjoy.  Follow my sporadic posting on twitter (I like to talk about brewing beer there as well) @smelliott0417

Northern Flicker (73) (1024x628)

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Northern Flicker (19) (1280x854)

2 thoughts on “Northern Flicker

  1. I’m glad you have been reporting Northern Flicker as (Red-shafted) or (Yellow-shafted) on eBird. For some reason the filter was not set up for this. That was an error on my account. I believe I have fixed this for Hutchinson Co. I should have this fixed for the rest of the panhandle within the next few days. Thanks! AND as always, excellent photos!

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