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Gilded Flicker

Colaptes chrysoides ORDER: PICIFORMES FAMILY: PICIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A large and common woodpecker of the saguaro cactus forests of the Sonoran Desert, the Gilded Flicker has the gray face and red mustache of the "red-shafted" form of the Northern Flicker, but the yellow wings of the "yellow-shafted" form.

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Funky Nests

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
11 in
28 cm
Wingspan
18.9 in
48 cm
Weight
3.2–4.6 oz
92–129 g
Other Names
  • Pic chrysolïde (French)
  • Carpintero aliamarillo, Carpintero de alas amarillas (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • A study reported that European Starlings had no effect on the nesting success of the Gilded Flicker in saguaro cactus, even though the two birds compete for nest holes. Starlings did negatively affect the Gila Woodpecker, perhaps because they were able to displace the smaller woodpecker. The larger and more aggressive Gilded Flicker may have been better able to compete for holes.
  • In the 1960s, taxonomists grouped the Gilded Flicker with the Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted flickers as a single species, the Northern Flicker, in recognition of the extensive interbreeding of the forms. The limited hybridization of the Gilded Flicker with the other forms, especially in light of their widespread hybrid zone, was the basis for the later change to recognize the Gilded Flicker as its own species.

Habitat


Deserts

Strongly associated with, but not completely restricted to, giant cactus forests of southwestern deserts.

Food


Insects

Insects, primarily ants. Also fruits and seeds.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–8 eggs
Egg Description
White.
Condition at Hatching
Naked and helpless.
Nest Description

Digs hole in saguaro cactus. Cavity unlined.

Nest Placement

Cavity

Behavior


Ground Forager

Forages primarily on ground.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Populations appear stable or increasing in the United States.

Credits

  • Moore, W. S. 1995. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus). In The Birds of North America, No. 166 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Range Map Help

Gilded Flicker Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings