Back brown with black bars (versus black and white in Gila
Woodpecker), underparts white with black spots and a large, black,
bib. Side of head gray (with red moustache in male) and crown is brown.
In flight, notice prominent white rump patch and yellow under wings.
Formerly Northern Flicker, but now considered separate species again.
Differentiated from Northern Flicker by having yellow under wings (versus
red in red-shafted race of northern flicker that also occurs here) and
narrower black bars on back.
SONG/CALL: A series of loud "wick-er" notes (thus the name flicker)
during the breeding season and a single "klee-yer" note year-round. Also makes a "squeaky" sound. Both Gilded Flickers and Gila Woodpeckers will tap loudly on metal objects
as a territorial "call".
NATURAL HISTORY: Excavate cavities in saguaros for nesting (as do Gila
Woodpeckers). Although these holes can cause serious damage and even
death to saguaros, the holes are used by numerous other animals for
nesting and roosting. Eat
lots of ants, more than any other bird in the U.S., but also eat seeds,
nuts, and other invertebrates.
Click on thumbnails below for more images: