Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) El Carpintero Del Norte - en Español. This is an adult male, and though partially in shadow one can see the black malar stripe extending from its bill to its neck. It’s not where you’d expect to find a woodpecker, but flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill. Northern Flicker male. On walks, don’t be surprised if you scare one up from the ground. The female will lay a bunch of eggs -- 5 to 8 -- … All Northern Flickers sport the red chevron, which I think looks more like a heart, on the nape of its neck. The Northern Flicker is a striking woodpecker that can be found in open wooded areas, at the forest edge, or even in your back yard. The male Northern Flicker establishes a nesting territory by drumming on wood or another resonant surface, including home siding, shingles, or gutters. Northern Flicker males in Michigan can be identified by a black mustache stripe at the base of the beak. Northern Flickers are large, brown woodpeckers with a gentle expression and handsome black-scalloped plumage. To protect his mate or territory, birds of the same sex become aggressive toward each other (Palmer and Fowler 1975). Nesting: A male flicker hollows out a cavity in a dead tree for nesting. Northern Flickers have two subspecies: the Red-shafted Flicker (C. a. cafer) of western North America and the Yellow-shafted Flicker (C. a. auratus) of the east and far north. But this species also has a secret weapon to help stake out territory, plus attract a mate — a ritualized dance display. Aggressive displays such as "bill directing" or "bill poking" are used by flickers. Their ranges are roughly divided by the Rocky Mountains except in the northern boreal forest, where the yellow-shafted range extends west across most of Alaska. 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