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Northern Flicker?


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They spend a lot of time on the ground eating insects--mostly ants, but it sounds like they will come to a feeder as well:

https://www.wildbirdhabitatstore.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79:northern-flicker-2&catid=2&Itemid=195

"While other woodpeckers forage for insects and larvae in the cracks and crevices of trees, Flickers forage for insects on the ground with 75% of their diet consisting of animal matter, the majority of which are ants. You can watch them working an ant hill with great vigor. The long tongue is driven deep in the holes and the ants are drawn up in great numbers because of its sticky consistency. The balance of their diet consists of fruit, ripe berries and seeds usually during the winter months. At backyard bird feeders they will feed on hulled sunflower seeds, shelled peanuts, and suet. While they can cling and maneuver on most every type of bird feeder to get their fare, I have a large platform feeder with sunflower hearts where they seem to prefer plopping down enjoying a relaxing meal. They will often stab at intruders with their long bill, driving them off until they have had their fill."

 

Edited by HamRHead
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40 minutes ago, tedsandyman said:

Yep, they definitely show up at suet feeders.

I never see them at mine.  I wonder what makes the difference.

I got my life Northern Flickers when I was a kid, since they showed up in our dogwood tree to eat the berries.  Planting trees or bushes with berries may be a good way to attract them from fall into early spring.

On the other hand, you may not want to encourage them, since they can bang annoyingly on things like metal chimney pipes and even damage the wood on houses.

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13 minutes ago, Jerry Friedman said:

I never see them at mine.  I wonder what makes the difference.

Not sure--I often buy suet with berries and bugs mixed in, so I wonder if that's an added attraction. Also, in case you are east-coast, I get the Red-shafted (western) flicker (wouldn't think they would behave much differently, but who knows?)

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 Thank you, everyone, for all of the information. I’m going to be experimenting with  dried fruit and possibly dry insects this winter. Maybe I can attract one that way. Though, they do seem to be unusual feeders as far as woodpeckers go, since they feed so much on the ground. Coincidentally, I just planted dogwood tree in my garden this summer. ? I’ll have to wait a whole year before it bears fruit, but I can’t wait to see if that increases wildlife traffic or year  from now! 

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I had a pair at my feeders last winter.  They ate both my suit and seed feeder.  I buy premium seed which I think has some dried fruit; which they may have been picking out.  That is the only year I have had them at my feeders though.

Edited by J_D_C_
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