A Gilded Flicker is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Gilded Flickers. We have also put together a list of fun Gilded Flicker t-shirts, Gilded Flicker bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Gilded Flickers
The Gilded Flicker is also known as the common flicker. It is one of the larger woodpeckers that can be found in the southern region of the United States of America.
Description and Identification
Gilded Flickers are roughly 11 inches in size, with a wingspan that ranges between 19.7 –
20.5 inches. This medium to large bird has grayish-brown plumages that are barred on
top and are spotted below. Their breasts have a black crescent on them, while their rumps
are white and highly conspicuous while they are in flight. Their golden-yellow underwings are
what distinguishes them from the Northern Flickers found in the same area, as they have red
underwings in contrast. Juveniles closely resemble adults but tend to have more muted
Gilded Flicker Size
There is no distinguishable difference in size between both sexes. The White-headed Woodpeckers have an average length of 10 to 12 inches with a wingspan of 16 to 18 inches. The bird weighs in at about 100 to 110 grams.
Gilded Flicker Appearance
This bird has distinctive golden-yellow markings under the wings and tail. The bright shaft colors are visible on the undersurface of the wings. The back is light brown with black, horizontal barring. The breast features a large, black crescent, and the tanto whitish undersides are speckled black. It has a brown cap and a pale, white rump which can be seen in flight.
Gilded Flicker Feeding
These birds primarily consume insects, particularly ants. These solitary birds are known to
consume more ants than any other bird species in North America. They forage by probing
into anthills with their beaks, hunting in vegetation, or by digging into the soil with their heavy
bills. As they forage, they also consume beetles, wasps, worms, caterpillars, and insect
larvae that they find. During the winters, they consume fruits from wild trees and shrubs as
insects become more scarce. They also eat wild berries, cactus fruits, acorns, nuts, seeds,
and grains. Feeding stations in urban areas may occasionally observe them if they contain
This woodpecker is an insectivorous bird that mainly feeds on ants. On occasions, the bird will also complement its diet with fruits, acorns, and seeds.
Gilded Flicker Habitat
Gilded Flickers live in several kinds of desert woodland habitats, choosing to primarily dwell
in the south-western desert woodlands of the United States. They are commonly found in the
giant cactus forests of the Sonoran Desert, large saguaros of Arizona, California, and Baja
California, and the Cardon cacti of Baja California and southern California. Although they
prefer dry climates to nest in, they can be found in a variety of wooded regions of North
America in smaller, dispersed populations. Mature cottonwood trees near streams seem to
draw some populations of the birds, although riparian habitats are not their first preference.
They are also frequently drawn towards urban, suburban, and rural areas like farms and
parks in search of food.
This bird species is often sighted in pine forests in the southern region of America.
Range and Migration
Gilded Flickers are large woodpeckers that are only found in regions of the south-western United
States and northwestern Mexico, including all of Baja California. Their range is small, with
their populations restricted around the regions of the Sonoran, Yuma, and eastern Colorado
desert. These birds are non-migratory and are permanent residents of their native habitats,
however, they may travel short, local distances in response to the availability of food sources.
Until 1995, Gilded Flickers were considered to be a sub-species of Northern Flickers. Due to
their relatively recent taxonomic divergence, information of this species remains limited.
Gilded Flicker Life and Behavior
It is not uncommon for pairs of this species of woodpeckers to remain together for life after mating. The nest is built by both sexes 6 meters from the ground in a standing dead tree. Their defense mechanism is usually to sing and drumming at any intruders of their territory. The female lays an average of 4 to 6 white eggs each season which happens twice a year. Both the male and female incubate the eggs for about 11 to 14 days. The young ones are looked after by both parents and leave the nest a month after hatching. The family stays together for a few months before the parents return to the nesting site.
Gilded Flicker Nesting
Gilded Flickers are monogamous and mate for life, although birds may find a new mate to
replace their previous mate if they have passed away. Nesting sites are likely selected by
both members of the pair and are near clearings and other open areas at forest edges, or in
forests abundant with meadows, fields, and clear-cuts. They have also been observed to
nest in savannas and near swamps, ponds, or in recently flooded areas with snags. The
nests themselves are large nesting cavities that are excavated by the birds into large cacti.
Resultant nests are usually left entirely unlined. These cavities are usually so large that they
weaken the cactus, often causing the cactus to secrete a sap that creates a waterproof
structure in the cavity to protect itself from infections.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
- Kids Bird Watching Monthly Subscription$10.00 / month
- Kid & Adult Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription$10.00 / month and a $72.00 sign-up fee
- Kids Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription$10.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Gilded Flickers
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Gilded Flickers are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Gilded Flicker T-shirts
If you love the Gilded Flicker you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Gilded Flicker Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Gilded Flicker is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Gilded Flicker Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Gilded Flicker. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Gilded Flickers
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Gilded Flickers
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.