Colaptes Auratus – Northern Flicker

Distinguishing Features – Crown and back of the neck, gray; back, wings, olive-brown with black bars; rump, white; side of the head, throat, and upper breast, brownish.

Red crescent at the nape of neck; black crescent across the breast; black patches below eye; underbody whitish, heavily spotted in black.

Male and female but the female is slightly smaller and lacks black patches below the eyes.

  • Size – 30.5 – 35 cm
  • (12 – 14 in)

Northern Flicker


A wide variety of sites but prefers open woodlands, farmlands, and pastures.


Excavates a cavity in the dead wood of a tree, telephone pole, or fence post.

Eggs, 6 – 9; white. The incubation period is 11 – 12 days.


The Northern Flicker lives on a diet of insects it forages on the ground or trees. Its song is a loud – Flicker-flicker-flicker.

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