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Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker
: angela LL (angela926) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 470 W: 19 N: 798] (3083)
: Animals
: 2008-05-28
: Birds
: Canon EOS 40 D, EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/1000
More Photo Info: [view]
: Where they Usually Are Not [view contributor(s)]
: 2008-05-28 18:43
: 4478
: 22
[Note Guidelines]
A Northern Flicker taken at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx New York.

A common ant-eating woodpecker of open areas, the Northern Flicker has two color forms found in different regions. The yellow-shafted form is common across the eastern and northern parts of North America, while the red-shafted form is the one found in the West.

Medium to large woodpecker.
Grayish brown.
Barred on top, spotted below.
Black crescent on chest.
Rump white, conspicuous in flight.
Yellow or red patches in wings obvious in flight.

Size: 28-31 cm (11-12 in)
Wingspan: 42-51 cm (17-20 in)
Weight: 110-160 g (3.88-5.65 ounces)
Sex Differences
Male with black or red mustache stripe. Female without mustache stripe, or with brown one.

Call a long series of loud "wik-wik-wik" notes. Also a softer "wik-a-wik-a-wik-a," and a strong single-note "peah."

topConservation Status
Widespread and common, but populations declining.

Other Names
Pic flamboyant (French)
Carpintero alirrojo, Pic-palo lombricero (Red-shafted Flicker) (Spanish)

Cool Facts

Although it can climb up the trunks of trees and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to find food on the ground. Ants are its favorite food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants.

The red-shafted and yellow-shafted forms of the Northern Flicker formerly were considered different species. The two forms hybridize extensively in a wide zone from Alaska to the panhandle of Texas. A hybrid often has some traits from each of the two forms and some traits that are intermediate between them. The Red-shafted Flicker also hybridizes with the Gilded Flicker, but less frequently, and the Gilded Flicker is considered a separate species.

The Northern Flicker is one of the few North American woodpeckers that is strongly migratory. Flickers in the northern parts of the range move south for the winter, although a few individuals often stay rather far north.

eqshannon, Gert-Paassen, Royaldevon, hester, SelenE has marked this note useful
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Critique [ ] 

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2739 W: 280 N: 4918] (19857)
  • [2008-05-28 19:11]

Very nice image Angela,
I've been trying to get a shot of one of these, but they just will not cooperate with me this year so far.
You've captured this one in a really good pose which shows off his beautiful plumage. When you see one this close you realize just how pretty they actually are.
Great job!! TFS.

Angela... I wonder...they are not boxed in by the location right? Just a political borderline..but they can fly off...and in either case a nice capture...Well seen in it's environs whether natural or man made natural it seems to work for the bird.

Hello Angela,

Good picture and nice low pov.
beautiful bird and colours.


Hello Angela,

This is a new bird for me!
I like your low pov which enables the viewer to see all aspects of this delightful plummage.
Superb details, good composition and set against a very natural and pleasing b/g.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Hi Angela

Must be a tough woodpecker to live in the Bronx.
Good shot though, I didn't know they took ants from the ground.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-29 20:19]

Hello Angela

A super shot of this flicker.I hardly ever get to see them close up like this.
The plumage markings and colours show well.
Lovely eye contact and glint.
Very good pov.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6154 W: 89 N: 15275] (63934)
  • [2008-05-30 1:20]

Hi Angela,very nice work,a beutifull portrait full of sharpenss and colours,excellent background too,very interesting note,my best compliments,Luciano

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-06-01 9:27]

Hi Angela

That really is a beautiful bird, I wish we had these in the UK. LOvely markings captured and the colours look lovely. I ike the low POV here



  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-06-01 14:43]

Hello Angela, very good shot of the Northern Flicker, details are crisp and the exposure is spot on, great pose and composition, thanks!


Hello Angela,

Great photo of this woodpecker. Fantastic POV, good focus and exposure.
You are much more lucky with woodpeckers than me.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2271 W: 64 N: 4205] (13964)
  • [2008-06-19 12:29]

Hi Angela,
Nice capture of this good looking bird. I like the details on the plumage, catchlight in the eye and your low POV. TFS

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