Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners


Flickers are protected from trapping or shooting by the State of Illinois. The bird is grayish brown and black with a patch of red on the back of the head. Males drum or peck on the side of homes, drumming to proclaim their territory. Occasionally, holes may be drilled for nesting sites.

Scare the birds away with strips of aluminum foil or tin foil, or plastic bags tacked to the side of the house.

Create a nesting box 7 inches by 7 inches by 17 inches tall with a 2 1/2 inch hole fifteen (15) inches above the floor. Place nesting box on a pole or tree six to twenty feet off the ground. Add 2 inches of soil or sawdust to the bottom of the box.

Northern flicker Colaptes auratus 
Yellow-shafted variety breeds in eastern United States and Canada (Alabama Yellowhammers)
Red-shafted variety breeds in western United States and Canada 

See: Sapsuckers, Woodpeckers

Flicker at Wikipedia

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