The Northern Flicker prefers to hunt for food on the ground, despite the fact that it can climb up tree trunks and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers do. The flicker digs in the ground to obtain ants, which are its primary food source. It scoops up the ants using the length of its thorny tongue.Previously, the Northern Flicker’s red-shafted and yellow-shafted varieties were thought to be separate species.
Between Alaska and the Texas Panhandle, the two kinds extensively hybridise. A hybrid frequently possesses qualities that are midway between the two forms as well as traits from both of the original forms.Although less frequently, the Red-shafted Flicker and Gilded Flicker can hybridise.One of the few significantly migratory woodpeckers in North America is the Northern Flicker.
In the northern regions of their range, flickers migrate south for the winter, though a few individuals frequently remain quite far north.Like other woodpeckers, Northern Flickers often build their nests in tree holes. They’ve occasionally been discovered building their nests in ancient, clay burrows abandoned by Bank Swallows or Belted Kingfishers.
Like the majority of woodpeckers, Northern Flickers use object-dancing as a means of territorial defence and communication. The goal in these situations is to produce the loudest sound possible, which is why woodpeckers occasionally beat on metal items. From a half-mile distant, one Northern Flicker in Wyoming could be heard drumming on an abandoned tractor.
The oldest male Northern Flicker with a yellow shaft was discovered in Florida at least 9 years and 2 months ago. The Northern Flicker’s oldest red-shafted species lived to be at least 8 years and 9 months old.