Range
Northern Flicker breeds throughout most of North America from the Arctic tree limit to Nicaragua. Winters from southern Canada south through the remainder of the breeding range.

Status in British Columbia
Fairly common local resident in the southern third of the province including Vancouver Island; uncommon resident north to the Queen Charlotte Islands and Prince Rupert on the coast. Rare to uncommon summer visitant throughout the remainder of the province.

Breeding
The Northern Flicker is a widespread breeder throughout most of British Columbia. Breeding habitats include virtually all forested zones in the province from near sea level to 2,100 m. It prefers open habitats such as aspen-lodgepole pine parkland, riparian woodland, forest edges, ponderosa pine forests, urban and rural gardens, rangeland, pastureland, orchards, alpine meadow edges, burns, logged areas and second growth plantations. Most nests were situated in natural sites, including deciduous and coniferous trees, stumps and snags, and silt or clay cliffs. Man-made sites included nest boxes, fence posts, buildings, powe Read More
Range
Northern Flicker breeds throughout most of North America from the Arctic tree limit to Nicaragua. Winters from southern Canada south through the remainder of the breeding range.

Status in British Columbia
Fairly common local resident in the southern third of the province including Vancouver Island; uncommon resident north to the Queen Charlotte Islands and Prince Rupert on the coast. Rare to uncommon summer visitant throughout the remainder of the province.

Breeding
The Northern Flicker is a widespread breeder throughout most of British Columbia. Breeding habitats include virtually all forested zones in the province from near sea level to 2,100 m. It prefers open habitats such as aspen-lodgepole pine parkland, riparian woodland, forest edges, ponderosa pine forests, urban and rural gardens, rangeland, pastureland, orchards, alpine meadow edges, burns, logged areas and second growth plantations. Most nests were situated in natural sites, including deciduous and coniferous trees, stumps and snags, and silt or clay cliffs. Man-made sites included nest boxes, fence posts, buildings, power poles, marina breakwater pilings, and a clothesline pole.
Most nests were located in excavated cavities, mainly in the main trunk of trees. Both sexes excavate the cavity. Three cavity diameters ranged from 13 to 25 cm. The diameter of 13 entrance holes ranged from 5 to 13 cm with a mean of 8 cm. Nest material was primarily wood chips from the excavation process. Sizes for broods ranged from 1 to 11 young with 60% having 5 to 7 young.

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Northern Flicker Bird Song

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Sonogram

Sonogram of Northern Flicker Song

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Tape Number: M6.096(12d)
Recording Remarks: A lot of recorder hum
Length: 02:19
Location Description: not available
Location Name: not available
General Remarks: Instructional Series: 5 Birds. Courting and noisy young being fed at nest hole.
Date: not available
Recorder: Grace Bell
Tape Number: M6.096(12d)
Recording Remarks: A lot of recorder hum
Length: 02:19
Location Description: not available
Location Name: not available
General Remarks: Instructional Series: 5 Birds. Courting and noisy young being fed at nest hole.
Date: not available
Recorder: Grace Bell

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Range
Resident across forested Canada and the United States south to California, the Gulf coast and Florida.

Status in British Columbia
Uncommon to rare resident in southern British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, becoming very rare throughout the remainder of the province except the northwest portion.

Breeding
The Pileated Woodpecker breeds across southern British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, north on the coast to Bella Coola, and in the interior at least to Vanderhoof and Ormond Lake. The Pileated Woodpecker likely breeds throughout its range in the province. It frequents a wide variety of forested habitats from open deciduous forests to dense, mature coniferous stands.

Most nests were situated in deciduous trees including trembling aspen, black cotton-wood, birches, alders, and maples. Other sites included coniferous trees and a power pole. Living trees were used more than dead trees. All nests were located in excavated cavities in the main trunk of the nest tree. Nest materials were primarily the finer wood chips from the excavation process. Clutch size range Read More
Range
Resident across forested Canada and the United States south to California, the Gulf coast and Florida.

Status in British Columbia
Uncommon to rare resident in southern British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, becoming very rare throughout the remainder of the province except the northwest portion.

Breeding
The Pileated Woodpecker breeds across southern British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, north on the coast to Bella Coola, and in the interior at least to Vanderhoof and Ormond Lake. The Pileated Woodpecker likely breeds throughout its range in the province. It frequents a wide variety of forested habitats from open deciduous forests to dense, mature coniferous stands.

Most nests were situated in deciduous trees including trembling aspen, black cotton-wood, birches, alders, and maples. Other sites included coniferous trees and a power pole. Living trees were used more than dead trees. All nests were located in excavated cavities in the main trunk of the nest tree. Nest materials were primarily the finer wood chips from the excavation process. Clutch size ranged from 2 to 4 eggs. One nest record indicated that one egg is laid each day, with incubation by both sexes. Incubation period is 18 days.

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Pileated Woodpecker Bird Song

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Sonogram

Sonogram Pileated Woodpecker Song

The Royal British Columbia Museum
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.


Tape Number: M6.049(07b)
Recording Remarks: 15 ips, Nagra IIIB, 40" Reflector, subject 100 ft. up, 3-400 ft. away. No voice on this - hammering
Length: 07:10
Location Description: not available
Location Name: Hatley Park, Royal Roads, Victoria, BC
General Remarks: On a dead fir tree about 100 ft. up hammering and chopping. Last one very loud and accurate, not distorted like those in AKG Microphone. Background: Chickadees, Warbling Vireo, Red Crossbill, Western Flycatcher, Redbreasted Nuthatch, Olivesided Flycatcher, train bell, wind, bee
Date: 1962/07/30
Recorder: Grace Bell
Tape Number: M6.049(07b)
Recording Remarks: 15 ips, Nagra IIIB, 40" Reflector, subject 100 ft. up, 3-400 ft. away. No voice on this - hammering
Length: 07:10
Location Description: not available
Location Name: Hatley Park, Royal Roads, Victoria, BC
General Remarks: On a dead fir tree about 100 ft. up hammering and chopping. Last one very loud and accurate, not distorted like those in AKG Microphone. Background: Chickadees, Warbling Vireo, Red Crossbill, Western Flycatcher, Redbreasted Nuthatch, Olivesided Flycatcher, train bell, wind, bee
Date: 1962/07/30
Recorder: Grace Bell

Copyright © 2003, Royal British Columbia Museum Corporation (RBCM). All rights reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Become familiar with the appearance, song, ecology, and taxonomic groupings of Canadian woodpecker species, with particular reference to British Columbia
  • Understand the importance of field notes in ecology, and be aware of typical information found in such notes

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