|Conservation status||Still fairly common, but vulnerable to loss of habitat.|
|Habitat||Deserts, riverside groves. Common in Sonoran desert, where it nests in holes in giant saguaro cactus. Also found in groves of cottonwoods and other trees along rivers and streams at low elevations.|
Forages by hopping on ground, climbing tree trunks and cacti, occasionally flying out to catch insects in the air.
Usually 4-5. White. Incubation is by both sexes (with male incubating at night and part of day), about 11 days. Young: Both parents feed young, by regurgitation. Young leave nest about 4 weeks after hatching, are fed by parents at first, later following them to good foraging sites. Generally 1 brood per year.
Both parents feed young, by regurgitation. Young leave nest about 4 weeks after hatching, are fed by parents at first, later following them to good foraging sites. Generally 1 brood per year.
Mostly ants and other insects. Unlike most birds (but like other flickers and several other woodpeckers), eats many ants. Also feeds on beetles, termites, caterpillars, and other insects. Eats many fruits and berries, and eats seeds and nuts at times.
Males defend nesting territory with calling, drumming, and many aggressive displays, including swinging head back and forth, flicking wings open and spreading tail to show off bright underside. Courtship displays mostly similar. Nest site is cavity in giant cactus, tree, or post. Tree cavities usually in dead wood. Cavity excavated by both sexes, typically 6-20' above ground, sometimes higher.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Essentially a permanent resident, with only local movements.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for over 450 bird species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsA loud, repeated woika; also a loud series of kee notes.
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How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the Gilded Flicker
Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future.
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Climate threats facing the Gilded Flicker
Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.