Medium-sized woodpecker; males and females 28 to 31 cm. Size and plumage vary with subspecies. Generally grayish brown with irregular transverse dark-brown bars above (making bird cryptic on ground), off-white with numerous 2 to 5 mm black spots below with black crescent mark on upper breast. Ventral surface of wing and tail and dorsal surface of shafts of flight feathers bright salmon or yellow, depending on subspecies. White rump-patch conspicuous in flight. Sexually dimorphic: black or red malar stripe usually present only in male (Moore 1995)
For a comprehensive review of the conservation status, habitat use, and ecology of this and other Montana bird species, please see Marks et al. 2016, Birds of Montana.
Western Hemisphere Range
In Bozeman area, normal migration periods are March 25 to April 30 and August 25 to October 15.
A common, primarily ground-foraging woodpecker that occurs in most wooded regions of North America. Prefers forest edge and open woodlands. Yellow-shafted Flickers reported nesting in most tree species in the wide range of woodlands it inhabits. Red-shafted Flickers are particularly common in quaking aspen stands and cottonwoods in riparian woodlands and in burned woodlands (Moore 1995).
Insects, primarily ants; fruits and seeds, especially in winter (Moore 1995).
Usually excavates nest cavities in dead or diseased tree trunks and large branches. Eggs ovate and pure lustrous white in color. Clutch size for Yellow-shafted and Red-shafted Flickers range from 3 to 12, mean 6.5 eggs (Moore 1995). Near Fortine, egg dates range from April 29 to June 10; young in nest from May 6 to July 9.