How to Attract Northern Flicker

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BE AWARE THAT HABITAT TYPE MORE THAN ANY OTHER FACTOR, WILL IN MOST CASES, DICTATE THE SPECIES OF BIRD THAT VISIT YOUR PROPERTY. 

Description: The woodpecker that doesn’t really act like a woodpecker, the Northern Flicker seems to spend more time pecking at the ground in pursuit of ants and other insects (which compose most of its diet in spring and summer) than it does at the trees. Northern Flickers are found in open woodlands. They will eat Suet from a Suet Feeder. In fall/winter, they eat berries, so planting or  berry producing plants could entice a flock to visit your property, they favor Wild Grape and Virginia Creeper. The Northern Flicker may use a nesting box if built to the correct specifications, they will also nest in dead trees. Northern Flicker will occasionally visit birdbaths.

Overview

Identification (For Yellow-Shafted):

  • Large-sized woodpecker
  • Brown overall, black bars (on back), black spots (on underparts), black crest (on chest). yellow tail feathers and white rump patch are visible in flight. Male has black “Moustache Patch”

Habitat:

  • Open Woodlands
  • Forest Edge
  • Backyards

Eating Habits:

  • Primarily insects – especially those found on the ground like ants
  • Will eat berries and seeds in fall/winter

Nesting:

  • Cavity nests in dead or dying trees
  • May use nesting box

Top Ways to Attract Northern Flicker

Insect-Friendly Yard (Especially Ants)     Dead Trees     Virginia Creeper     Suet     Nesting Box

Trees & Shrubs that Attract Northern Flicker

American Elderberry (Fruit)     Blackgum (Fruit)     Common Juniper (Fruit)     Dead Tree (Insects, Nesting)     Flowering Dogwood (Fruit)     Hackberry (Fruit) Northern Bayberry (Fruit)     Oak (Acorns, Nesting)     Red Mulberry (Fruit)     Red-Twig Dogwood (Fruit)     Sassafras (Fruit)     Serviceberry (Fruit)     Sumac (Fruit)     Wild Cherry (Fruit)

Flowers & vines that Attract Northern Flicker

Virginia Creeper (Fruit)     Wild Blueberry (Fruit)    Wild Grape (Fruit)

Attracting Northern Flicker with a Bird Feeder

Feeder Type:     Suet Feeder

Feed:     Suet