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Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

General Description: Northern Flickers (Colaptes auratus) are large, noisy woodpeckers, generally of the mountains, with a barred, brown back, a white spotted front, a black neck band, and a white rump. The face is gray, and the crown is brown. In flight, Northern Flickers around Las Vegas show red in the wings (red wing linings), leading to another common name: "red-shafted flicker." Males have a red mustache mark; females lack a mustache.

In the east and far north, Northern Flickers have yellow wing linings and are referred to as "yellow-shafted flickers." In the southern deserts (from about Searchlight southward) however, another species of flicker has yellow wing linings: the Gilded Flicker.

Taxonomy: Piciformes, Picidae, Picinae. Formerly Red-Shafted Flicker.

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Favored Habitat: Generally mountain habitats (Pinyon-Juniper Woodland up to the Bristlecone Forest) with pine and fir trees, but some are found in higher-elevation desert habitats (Mojave Desert Scrub).

Where to Find: Mt. Charleston, Red Rock Canyon NCA, and higher elevations in the Desert National Wildlife Range (Mormon Well area).

Comments:

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) Northern Flicker male; note that "red-shafted flickers" sometimes show up with yellow feather shafts. This boy might be a hybrid between Northern and Gilded flickers, between Northern "red-shafted" and Northern "yellow-shafted," or just a genetic mutant.
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) If you were a big ant or a tasty bark beetle, this might be the last face you'd ever see!
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Note the barred back
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Young Northern Flicker; notice the dull brown colors
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Northern Flicker female on the ground looking for ants ...
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
... and it looks like she found some!
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Notice yellow tail-feather shafts
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Notice yellow tail-feather shafts
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Notice yellow tail-feather shafts
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Notice yellow tail-feather shafts
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Too heavy for a squirrel-proof bird feeder, this Flicker boy learned to hang on the post and reach up with his long tongue to get seeds.
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Northern Flicker; Shark Valley, Everglades, Florida

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120919

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