By Daniel Beeke
Northern Flickers can be seen year round in the Fraser Valley. Pure Yellow-shafted Flickers appear rarely in the Fraser Valley If you see a woodpecker sitting on the ground, it is probably a Northern Flicker. They will sit on the ground and eat beetles and ants. Their strangely curved bill helps them dig them up. You can see these birds in your backyard or in a park or hanging around a dead tree. They will sit in the dead trees and eat the insects that are eating the tree or that are using it as a home. There are two subspecies of Northern Flickers- Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted. If you are to the east of the Rockies it is probably Yellow-shafted. If you are to the west of the Rockies it is most likely Red-shafted. So how can you tell the difference between these subspecies? The Red-shafted has a red malar and a grey face while the Yellow-shafted had a black malar and a brown face. The name gives away what color shafts each subspecies has. The Red-shafted has red shafts and the Yellow-shafted has yellow shafts.
The Northern Flicker is a species of woodpecker that is migratory. There are not many species of woodpecker in North America that migrate. They will spend their summers up north and will migrate down south for the winter. In the Fraser Valley they are here all year round because it is not to cold here. They sometimes nest in earthy burrows abandoned by other birds, but usually they nest in holes in trees. They reuse the same holes or take one over from other birds. They are 28-31cm long(11-12.2 inches). The wingspan is 42-51cm(16.5-20.1 inches). When flying they rise and fall like most woodpeckers.
Here are some pictures
"Northern Flicker." , Life History, All About Birds . Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
"Northern Flicker - Red-shafted, Yellow-shafted, Intergrades - Which Do You Have?" EBird . Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
"EBird Range Map--Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)." EBird Range Map--Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) . Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
"EBird Range Map--Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)." EBird Range Map--Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) . Web. 27