Northern Flicker 4/23/18

Northern Flickers are already returning with this first wave of spring migrants. Notice the distinct black bib and spotted belly, and the gilded yellow shafts of the underfeathers give it its more common oldtime name—Yellowhammer. There’s also an unmistakeable white rump you can’t miss when you see its bouncy flight pattern. Males have black mustaches, females have none. Flickers often excavate new nest cavities every year, making other cavity nesters somewhat dependent on them to recycle their housing. Northern Flickers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are the only 2 New England woodpeckers that migrate, the others are all resident.

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