70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

Northern Flicker

(Yellow-shafted Flicker)

Colaptes auratus

Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Colaptes
Species: auratus

Gr. pikos woodpecker
La. picus woodpecker
La. forma form, shape, kind
La. -idae appearance, resemblance

Gr. picus Circe, mythological daughter of Helios, changed Picus, son of Saturn, into a woodpecker

Gr. kolaptes chiseller
Gr. kolapto chisel, pick away
La. auratus golden

Water color of northern flicker foraging on a decaying stump with foliage in the background.

A large woodpecker, about twelve inches long. Gray head with red patch on the back of the head. Light brown undersides with black or dark brown spots. Black wavy bars on brownish gray wings, yellow bordered wing feathers and yellow under wings.

USGS map shows flickers range in Alaska, most of Canada and the States east of the Rocky Mountain's eastern slopes and to Central America.

Northern flickers inhabit forests, groves, farms, and towns from parts of Alaska, throughout most of Canada and the States east of the Rocky Mountain’s eastern slopes and below 55 degrees latitude south to some Caribbean islands and Central America. The most northern dwelling flickers migrate within the continent.

Noisy birds, they emit a familiar, quickly repeated, short quit-quit-quit-quit-quit-quit and an incredibly loud, high pitched Keee-yer! that sounds like an ungreased wheel.

Audubon described another of its calls as, “a prolonged jovial laugh”

Odd for woodpeckers, flickers are primarily ground feeders. They forage for ants, beetles, various other insects, grubs, worms and various berries and wild fruits.

Northern flickers are infrequent visitors at feeders. Feed them suet and suet mixes, fruits, nuts and possibly various seeds.

Attract flickers to areas with most any berry bush or fruit tree, especially bayberry, choke cherry and sour gum.

Also blackberry, blueberry, wild grape, huckleberry juneberry, mulberry, pokeberry, raspberry, sarsaparilla and strawberry.

Painting of northern flicker perched in front of a tree cavity with a grassy ground and foliage in the background.

Flickers chip out several cavities or nest in abandoned or natural cavities in decaying trees, cactuses, or fence posts from within reach to twenty feet or higher.

Absent their usual choices they will use what is at hand. Northern flicker nests have been discovered in old wagon wheel hubs on the treeless prairies, in barrels, in the crevices of deserted barns and in out houses. They will also nest in birdhouses.

Females lay a varying number of white eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another four weeks.

The Northern Flicker Birdhouse (same as for Lewis Woodpecker, Saw-Whet Owl, Pigmy Owl and Grackle) has a 7″ by 7″ floor, 16″ inside ceiling, 2 1/2″ diameter entrance hole located 14″ above the floor and ventilation openings.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce wood splitting.

Secure hinged roof with shutter hooks for easy access. Or some may prefer a fixed roof with a Side Opening Door.

Fill the box with wood chips, not sawdust.

Mount this nest box on a tree trunk about eye level or just out of reach, higher if desired, in a forest, grove, farm country tree stand or a park where dead trees, their preferred choice, have been removed.

Installations at significant heights should be installed and maintained by professionals, carpenters, electricians, power line workers, etc.

Other woodpeckers, fly catchers, even titmice and nuthatches also may use this nest box.

Visit the Norther Flicker Nest Box Page.

Northern Flicker Birdhouse

Select to view or print owl woodpecker grackle birdhouse plans.

View/Print Plans

Although it is good practice to remove nests and clean boxes well after the brood rearing season is past, one might weigh the increased risks working at heights additional time(s) beyond the initial installation. Consider leaving the box, at least until a qualified trades worker is available.

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Northern Flicker

(Yellow-shafted Flicker)

Colaptes auratus

Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Colaptes
Species: auratus

Gr. pikos woodpecker
La. picus woodpecker
La. forma form, shape, kind
La. -idae appearance, resemblance

Gr. picus Circe, mythological daughter of Helios, changed Picus, son of Saturn, into a woodpecker

Gr. kolaptes chiseller
Gr. kolapto chisel, pick away
La. auratus golden

Northern flicker perched on a tree stump amidst foliage.

A large woodpecker, about twelve inches long. Gray head with red patch on the back of the head. Light brown undersides with black or dark brown spots. Black wavy bars on brownish gray wings, yellow bordered wing feathers and yellow under wings.

USGS map shows flickers range in Alaska, most of Canada and the States east of the Rocky Mountain's eastern slopes and to Central America.

Northern flickers inhabit forests, groves, farms, and towns from parts of Alaska, throughout most of Canada and the States east of the Rocky Mountain’s eastern slopes and below 55 degrees latitude south to some Caribbean islands and Central America. The most northern dwelling flickers migrate within the continent.

Noisy birds, they emit a familiar, quickly repeated, short quit-quit-quit-quit-quit-quit and an incredibly loud, high pitched Keee-yer! that sounds like an ungreased wheel.

Audubon described another of its calls as, “a prolonged jovial laugh”

Odd for woodpeckers, flickers are primarily ground feeders. They forage for ants, beetles, various other insects, grubs, worms and various berries and wild fruits.

Northern flickers are infrequent visitors at feeders. Feed them suet and suet mixes, fruits, nuts and possibly various seeds.

Attract flickers to areas with most any berry bush or fruit tree, especially bayberry, choke cherry and sour gum.

Also blackberry, blueberry, wild grape, huckleberry juneberry, mulberry, pokeberry, raspberry, sarsaparilla and strawberry.

Painting of northern flicker perched on the side of a tree trunk below the entrance hole of it's tree cavity and beautiful bright green grass below.

Flickers chip out several cavities or nest in abandoned or natural cavities in decaying trees, cactuses, or fence posts from within reach to twenty feet or higher.

Absent their usual choices they will use what is at hand. Northern flicker nests have been discovered in old wagon wheel hubs on the treeless prairies, in barrels, in the crevices of deserted barns and in out houses.

Females lay a varying number of white eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another four weeks.

The Northern Flicker Birdhouse (same as for Lewis Woodpecker, Saw-Whet Owl, Pigmy Owl and Grackle) has a 7″ by 7″ floor, 16″ inside ceiling, 2 1/2″ diameter entrance hole located 14″ above the floor and ventilation openings.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce wood splitting.

Secure hinged roof with shutter hooks for easy access.Or some may prefer a fixed roof with a Side Opening Door.

Fill the box with large wood chips, not sawdust.

Mount this nest box on a tree trunk about eye level or just out of reach, higher if desired, in a forest, grove, farm country tree stand or a park where dead trees, their preferred choice, have been removed.

Other woodpeckers, fly catchers, even titmice and nuthatches also may use this nest box.

See the Northern Flicker Birdhouse Page

Northern Flicker Birdhouse

View or Print Flicker Birdhouse Plans

View/Print Plans

Installations at significant heights should be installed and maintained by professionals, carpenters, electricians, power line workers, etc.

Although it is good practice to remove nests and clean boxes well after the brood rearing season is past, one might weigh the increased risks working at heights additional time(s) beyond the initial installation. Consider leaving the box, at least until a qualified trades worker is available.

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Northern Flicker

(Yellow-shafted Flicker)

Birds  |  Birdhouses  |  Plans  |  Home

Water color of northern flicker foraging on a decaying stump with foliage in the background.

Colaptes auratus

Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Colaptes
Species: auratus

Gr. pikos woodpecker
La. picus woodpecker
Gr. picus Circe, mythological daughter of Helios, changed Picus, son of Saturn, into a woodpecker
La. forma form, shape, kind
La. -idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. kolaptes chiseller
Gr. kolapto chisel, pick away
La. auratus golden

A large woodpecker, about twelve inches long. Gray head with red patch on the back of the head. Light brown undersides with black or dark brown spots. Black wavy bars on brownish gray wings, yellow bordered wing feathers and yellow under wings.

USGS map shows flickers range in Alaska, most of Canada and the States east of the Rocky Mountain's eastern slopes and to Central America.

Northern flickers inhabit forests, groves, farms, and towns from parts of Alaska, throughout most of Canada and the States east of the Rocky Mountain’s eastern slopes and below 55 degrees latitude south to some Caribbean islands and Central America. The most northern dwelling flickers migrate within the continent.

Painting of northern flicker perched in front of a tree cavity with a grassy ground and foliage in the background.

Noisy birds, they emit a familiar, quickly repeated, short quit-quit-quit-quit-quit-quit and an incredibly loud, high pitched Keee-yer! that sounds like an ungreased wheel. Audubon described another of its calls as, “a prolonged jovial laugh”

Odd for woodpeckers, flickers are primarily ground feeders. They forage for ants, beetles, various other insects, grubs, worms and various berries and wild fruits.

Northern flickers are infrequent visitors at feeders. Feed them suet and suet mixes, fruits, nuts and possibly various seeds.

Attract flickers to areas with most any berry bush or fruit tree, especially bayberry, choke cherry and sour gum. Also blackberry, blueberry, wild grape, huckleberry juneberry, mulberry, pokeberry, raspberry, sarsaparilla and strawberry.

Flickers chip out several cavities or nest in abandoned or natural cavities in decaying trees, cactuses, or fence posts from within reach to twenty feet or higher.

Absent their usual choices they will use what is at hand. Northern flicker nests have been discovered in old wagon wheel hubs on the treeless prairies, in barrels, in the crevices of deserted barns and in out houses.

Females lay a varying number of white eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another four weeks.

The Northern Flicker Birdhouse (same as for Lewis Woodpecker, Saw-Whet Owl, Pigmy Owl and Grackle) has a 7″ by 7″ floor, 16″ inside ceiling, 2 1/2″ diameter entrance hole located 14″ above the floor and ventilation openings.

Birdhouse made with rough cut cedar, corrosion resistant screws and brass hinges and shutter hooks.

Northern Flicker Birdhouse

Use wood stock rough-cut on both sides. Assemble with corrosion resistant screws.

Drill countersunk pilot holes in primary work pieces and regular pilot holes in secondary work pieces to reduce wood splitting.

Attach the roof with hinges and lock in a closed position with shutter hooks. Or some may prefer a fixed roof with a Side Opening Door.

Print northern flicker birdhouse plans.

Northern Flicker Birdhouse Plans

Fill the box with large wood chips, not sawdust.

Mount this nest box on a tree trunk about eye level or just out of reach, higher if desired, in a forest, grove, farm country tree stand or a park where dead trees, their preferred choice, have been removed.

Other woodpeckers and owls also may use this nest box.

Installations at significant heights should be installed and maintained by professionals, carpenters, electricians, power line workers, etc.

Although it is good practice to remove nests and clean boxes well after the brood rearing season is past, one might weigh the increased risks working at heights additional time(s) beyond the initial installation. Consider leaving the box, at least until a qualified trades worker is available.

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