• Black with white spots. She's from Port Moody, BC, Canada. In flight note the white rump patch. Please enable JavaScript on your browser to best view this site. You’ve been successfully subscribed to our newsletter! However, it is slightly smaller than either, and it lives in the lowlands of the southwest -- mainly in the desert, where it nests in holes in giant saguaro cactus. Here are some of the distinctive markings that might help those of you who were confused as I was. Note the red whisker on males in the West. • Red malar nape My "guess" is a Gilded Flicker because of the head color (cinnamon), and the more crescent like spots on the lower section of the underparts, but I have little confidence in that conclusion. Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons. I took a few different shots so any birders could see all around her head and body. • Red malar (red shafted) or Black (yellow shafted) or Brown (female) Malar on nape Large woodpecker with a black bib and spotted belly. The Gilded Flicker along with the Gila Woodpecker builds it home in the Saguaro. This video has no audio. The gilded flicker closely resembles the northern flicker and combines some features of the yellow-shafted (yellow wings and tail base) and the red-shafted (head pattern). Males in the West have a red whisker while those in the East have a black whisker. Helping You Navigate Social Security Disability Benefits During COVID-19, Art in the Park – Exuberance: An Artistic Botanical Experience, The Amazing Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon: A Book Review, The Plastic Nature of Aspens and Other Plants. In its color pattern, this bird combines some elements from both the Yellow-shafted and Red-shafted forms of I looked through four books trying to figure out the differences in appearance between the Northern and Guilded Flicker and I think I am more confused now than when I started! Female "Red-shafted" form has a gray face and lacks both a red crescent on the nape and a mustache stripe. We welcome birding comments. Flicker - Gilded or Northern? Northern flickers display two color schemes. He drinks all the hummingbird food and feeds his family. • Red Crown (Male) The upperparts are mostly brownish-gray with black barring. Northern Flicker – A Woodpecker on the Ground. Red undertail is visible from some angles. • Smaller • White wings with Black "flicks", David Margrave [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, The Gilded Flicker is  part of the Northern Flicker family. Gilded Flicker. Often sits sideways on branches, unlike other woodpeckers. The Saguaro dwelling Gila Woodpecker is one of Arizona's favorites, even though the Cactus Wren is officially the State Bird. But it is easy to tell the difference. • White with Black Spots on breast (Gila is Brown on breast) The back of Gila Woodpeckers is barred black and white whereas the back of Northern Flickers is barred black and brown. The Ladderback Woodpecker is another contender, but more easily put aside. The Gila Woodpecker is a noisy bird, tapping on metal to attract a mate, calling anyone who will listen. His distinctive characteristics are as follows and make it easy to tell the difference. Male "Red-shafted" form has red mustache stripe. The Northern Flicker family included, in the past, the Gilded Flicker (C. a. chrysoides) - a Sonoran Desert species. May feed vertically on tree trunks like other woodpeckers; often feeds from the ground on ants. Birds in the East flash yellow shafts on the flight feathers and tail. Gilded Flickers of southern Arizona have yellow under the wings and tail while Northern Flickers in the western U.S. have red under the wings and tail. However, the Gilded Flicker, has recently reached full species status. The northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) or common flicker is a medium-sized bird of the woodpecker family. Intergrade individuals usually have a mixture of the plumage markings of Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted birds. Found in a wide variety of both open and wooded habitats. The Tucson Audubon Society is quite active in this birders paradise. Colaptes chrysoides. • Black Mustached throat, Glenn Seplak from Tucson, Arizona [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons. The two are very similar in overall size, plumage, and structure. Less common in Arizona than the Gilded Flicker, the red shafted is more common to the western United States than the yellow shafted Northern Flicker. (Nature's Pic's www.naturespicsonline.com). Gilded Flicker. • Red malar nape • Spotted Breast … Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market Has It Going On! In its color pattern, this bird combines some elements from both the Yellow-shafted and Red-shafted forms of Northern Flicker. Flickers found in the eastern United States are called yellow-shafted flickers due to the yellow coloration on the undersides of their wings and tails. Females have a peachy-brown face, a gray crown and nape, and a red spot on the nape. Once you see them all together, it is much easier. Each of the subspecies is distinguishable by its feather coloration and size difference. JAVASCRIPT IS DISABLED. The Gila Woodpecker is most often confused with the Northern Flicker, or its close relative, the Gilded Flicker. The red underside of the tail can be obvious from certain angles on perched birds. • Spotted Breast -(Gila does not have a spotted breast) • Black mustached throat Within that wide range it occurs in two strikingly different forms, long ago considered separate species: “Red-shafted Flicker” in the west, “Yellow-shafted Flicker” in the east. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, 85712. • Grey with Black Spots • Black with White spots on back. We have a local Gila Woodpecker in our Saguaro just outside the door. Males in the East have a red nape, a black whisker, and yellow shafts on the flight and tail feathers. In flight, its white rump contrasts with the rest of the plumage. Gilded Flickers have a brownish crown, while Gilded Flickers is more gray. It resides in the Southwest, and is smaller than the Northern Flicker. A main food source is ants, and flickers often forage on the ground for them. They have yellow under the wings and tail while Northern Flickers in the western U.S. have red under the wings and tail. Done. Northern Flicker is a familiar bird throughout the lower 48 states and southern Canada.