17.4 C
Niagara Falls
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Bird watch: Northern flicker
During the breeding season, flickers carve out nests in tree cavities or abandoned structures.

Lily McKinley
Special to Niagara Now/The Lake Report

Northern flicker:

The northern flicker is a year-round resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake, marked by its vibrant plumage and distinctive markings specific to eastern North America.

We are lucky enough to observe the yellow-shafted variant, which dwells in woodlands, parks and even urban spaces.

During the breeding season, flickers carve out nests in tree cavities or abandoned structures.

To communicate with potential mates, they drum as loudly as possible on wood or metal surfaces, which helps them establish territories.

Unlike traditional tree-drumming woodpeckers, the northern flicker is the only woodpecker species that frequently forages for food on the ground.

They use their powerful bills to probe the ground, allowing them to unearth insects and beetles.

Food availability has been found to directly influence the colouration of flickers and their nestlings, so consider offering suet or fruit in feeders for a chance to witness these unique birds up close.

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