|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – May 2008
Of all the North American bird species, few stand out more than this trio of flyers. Their vivid plumage makes them some of the easiest springtime wildlife to spot.
Multiple patterns clash on this foot-tall woodpecker's grayish body: a striped back, a spotted stomach, and a black chest crescent. Mature males also exhibit a bright red cheek patch. Like other tree-knockers, northern flickers coast during flight, which displays their distinctive white rump. But they are the only woodpeckers that feed on the ground, preferring fruits, seeds, and especially ants. They excavate their homes inside dead trees found along forest edges. Flickers are present in all 50 states, and are one of the few woodpecker species that migrates south in winter.