This member of the woodpecker family may make nest holes in dead and diseased trees, but it finds its food, ants and beetles, on the ground. In late fall it switches to wild berries and will visit bird feeders. Wyoming is in the zone where red-shafted (referring to the color of the underside of the wing feathers) and yellow-shafted flickers hybridize. Sexes look identical except the female has no red or black “mustache.” Listen for their loud call: “Swik, wik, wik, wik….”
Published Oct. 15, 2008, in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Text by Barb Gorges, photo by Pete Arnold.