Living Bird Magazine
Gilded FlickerColaptes chrysoides
- ORDER: Piciformes
- FAMILY: Picidae
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.More ID Info
- Carpintero Californiano (Spanish)
- Pic chrysoïde (French)
- 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.
- The oldest recorded Gilded Flicker was at least 6 years, 4 months old and lived in Arizona.