Once you know them, catching a glimpse of a northern flicker in flight is almost unmistakable. When flying away from you, these medium-sized woodpeckers produce a panache all their own with their easy-to-identify and completely customized markings.
As we stated above, these birds belong in the woodpecker family but don’t always play the part like their distant cousins such as the pileated woodpecker do. Instead, northern flickers are typically found foraging and feeding on the ground in some cases, among flocks of other bird species.
While they might spend much of their time on the ground, their flushing patterns have woodpecker written all over them. With a steady rise and periods of gliding, they mimic other woodpeckers perfectly until they land or perch. Rather than clinging to the bark on tree trunks, these birds will instead choose horizontal branches to perch upon.