(BFF's) Gilded Flicker ~ Male

Kimberly Chadwick

Marana, United States

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Artist's Description

Taken with my Canon Powershot SX10IS in my backyard, Marana, Arizona during my R&R weekend.

Once considered a subspecies of Northern Flicker,the smaller Gilded Flicker is restricted to deserts of northwestern Mexico and southern Arizona, with a small, disjunt population on the California-Nevada border.

It resembles Red-shafted Flicker (the western subspecies of Northern Flicker); hybrids with Red-shafted are known but are very uncommon, probably because Red-shafts do not breed in deserts but in pine-oak woodlands.

Differs from Red-shafted Flicker in bright yellow underwings, warm cinnamon crown oblong spots on lower belly and flanks, and more black on rectrices when viewed from below.

VOICE Like Northern Flicker but higher-pitched.


  • A study reported that European Starlings had no effect on the nesting success of the Gilded Flicker in saguaro cactus, even though the two birds compete for nest holes.
  • In the 1960s, taxonomists grouped the Gilded Flicker with the Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted flickers as a single species, the Northern Flicker, in recognition of the extensive interbreeding of the forms.
  • The limited hybridization of the Gilded Flicker with the other forms, especially in light of their widespread hybrid zone, was the basis for the later change to recognize the Gilded Flicker as its own species.
  • A group of flickers are collectively known as a “guttering”, “menorah”, and “Peterson” of flickers.

Artwork Comments

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