Gilded Flicker, Colaptes chrysoides
Learn more about this species in the Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America.
Introduction to the species
“The Gilded Flickers are much quieter than the Gilas … They are peaceable and impress me as being eminently practical and matter of fact. Each one minds his own business and seems willing to live and let live.”
-M. F. Gilman 1915
At the top of the tallest saguaro, the Gilded Flicker peers across the Sonoran sands, basking in the setting desert sun. Its unmistakable “jungle call” notwithstanding, this is a shy creature, ceding the local stage to its smaller, more boisterous relative, the Gila Woodpecker. When not surveying the landscape from above, the Gilded Flicker spends most of its time on the desert floor, like the lizard of the local avifauna, lapping up ants and termites with its long sticky tongue. The winter menu may include a few mistletoe berries or palm dates, and the pollen of the saguaro blossom is favorite spring fare.
Gallery of photos of the Gilded Flicker by Steve Shunk
Return to List of Species of North American Woodpeckers page.