Gilded Flicker

Information about the Bird Gilded Flicker

The gilded flicker (Colaptes chrysoides) is a large-sized woodpecker (mean length of 29cm (11in)) 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. Golden yellow underwings distinguish the gilded flicker from the northern flicker found within the same region, which have red underwings.

The gilded flicker most frequently builds its nest hole in a majestic saguaro 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 saguaro boot. 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.

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