Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The northern or common flicker, Colaptes auratus, is a member of the woodpecker family that is abundant in Utah. Northern flickers breed across much of North America. Average clutch size is six to eight eggs; eggs are incubated by both sexes and hatch in approximately twelve days. The altricial young are tended by both adults and leave the nest four weeks after hatching.

Northern flickers are usually found in open forest areas, often nesting in cavities of dead trees. The majority of the northern flicker's diet is composed of insects, but the species also eats fruits, berries, and seeds when available. Northern flickers are important to forest ecosystems because the tree cavities they excavate are used by many other forest species.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birderís handbook[:] a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon & Schuster, New York. xxx + 785 pp.