Northern Flicker

About the Northern Flicker
Also known as: Red-shafted Flicker, Yellow-shafted Flicker, Gilded Flicker, Yellowhammer
Northern Flicker
The Northern Flicker is a species of woodpecker found across much of North America. There are two living subspecies: the yellow-shafted and the red-shafted. Yellow-shafted flickers show yellow under the tail and wings; these are found in the eastern part of the range. Red-shafted flickers are found in the west and show red under the tail and wings. These subspecies have been considered completely separate species in the past. The closely related Gilded Flicker was formerly also considered to be the same species as the Northern Flicker.

Northern Flickers are often found feeding on the ground -- unusual for a woodpecker. They like to eat ants and other insects which they may forage by probing the earth with their beaks.
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Details & Statistics


The Northern Flicker is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2014 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

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Related Articles

2015 Bonanza Bird #10: Northern Flicker

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a New World woodpecker: the Northern Flicker! The Northern Flicker is a fairly common and widespread species across its range and can be found across North America. There are two living subspecies: the...  Read more »