- ORDER: Piciformes
- FAMILY: Picidae
In the thorny, sun-baked Sonoran Desert, Gilded Flickers perch high above the ground on the sturdy limbs of giant saguaro or Mexican giant cardon cactus. These desert relatives of the slightly larger Northern Flicker have yellow underwings and a bright cinnamon crown. Their calls ring across the desert in the early morning. Though these woodpeckers are tightly tied to giant cactus for nesting, they forage mainly on the ground, using their long tongues to pull ants from underground colonies.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Look for Gilded Flickers among giant saguaro and giant cardon cactus in the Sonoran Desert of the southwestern U.S. through Baja California, Mexico, up to about 3,200 feet elevation. Be aware that Northern Flickers occur here as well; Gilded is much less tolerant of disturbance, so head out into the desert on a cool morning to find them. With any flicker you see, look for Gilded’s yellow underwing tones, cinnamon crown, paler (and less strongly barred) back, and more crescent-shaped spots on the belly.
- Carpintero Californiano (Spanish)
- Pic chrysoïde (French)