Male
 
The gilded flicker (Colaptes chrysoides) is a large-sized woodpecker (mean length of 29 cm (11 in)) of the Sonoran, Yuma, and eastern Colorado Desert regions of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico including all of the Baja Peninsula except the extreme northwestern region
 
 
female
 
Golden yellow underwings distinguish the gilded flicker from the northern flicker found within the same region, which have red underwings.
 
 
female - no red
 
The gilded flicker most frequently builds its nest hole in a Cordon cactus, excavating a nest hole nearer the top than the ground. The cactus defends itself against water loss into the cavity of the nesting hole by secreting sap that hardens into a waterproof structure that is known as a boot.
 
 
White rump patch good diagnostic
 
Northern flickers, on the other hand, nest in riparian trees and very rarely inhabit saguaros. Gilded flickers occasionally hybridize with northern flickers in the narrow zones where their range and habitat overlap.
 
 
bold body markings
 
 
male has red on head
 
 
cavity nesters
 
 
closeup of male
 


BACK TO LEARNING PAGES