By Mike's Birds (Northern Flicker Uploaded by Magnus Manske) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Northern or Yellow-shafted Flicker Colaptes auratus


Category E

Native Range

North America. Breeds over a large swathe of Alaska, Canada and the USA. Resident in much of the USA and a winter visitor to the western gulf area.

British Occurence

A decomposed corpse believed to have been brought ashore in Caithness in July 1981 is regarded as a human-assisted transportee. (BOURC 38th Report)

This same report has a photo of a Northern Flicker taken in 1962 on board a ship crossing the Atlantic. At the start of the crossing there were at least ten Northern Flickers and more that 120 other Nearctic landbirds on board. The Flicker in the photo was the last to survive (despite sustenance being provided by the crew) and it departed the ship once it had docked in Ireland.

Where to see Northern Flicker in captivity

Discover more about this bird with