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Northern Flicker At Nest Hole

July 07, 2017  •  2 Comments

I have been watching a pair of Northern Flickers at a nest site at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. They are next to the road in an old dead cottonwood tree. Yesterday I was able to stop in front of the tree and get a few photos before moving on. I was hoping to see them bringing food to the young, but I read that the young are fed by regurgitation.

Nests are generally placed 6-15 feet off the ground, but on rare occasions can be over 100 feet high. This one looks to be close to the 15 foot mark.

Northern Flicker - 070617-9419Northern Flicker - 070617-9419Northern Flicker - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma


Northern Flicker Facts

  • They are cavity nesters which typically nest in trees, but they also use posts and birdhouses if sized and situated appropriately.
  • They prefer to excavate their own home, although they reuse and repair damaged or abandoned nests.
  • Flickers are sometimes driven from nesting sites by another cavity nester, the European starling.
  • About 1 to 2 weeks are needed for a mated pair to build the nest. The entrance hole is roughly 2 to 3.9 inches wide.
  • A typical clutch consists of six to eight eggs whose shells are pure white with a smooth surface and high gloss.
  • The eggs are the second-largest of the North American woodpecker species, exceeded only by the Pileated Woodpecker's.
  • Incubation is by both sexes for about 11 to 12 days.
  • The young are fed by regurgitation and fledge about 25 to 28 days after hatching. (Wikipedia)


Steve Creek Wildlife Photography
Good morning Greg! I have a Doe that has also had triplets down at my other place in the National Forest. It was a pleasant surprise. Now if they can just keep away from the deer dogs that are still running in my area. I had a Doe last season that had twins and the twins are still hanging around.
Greg Topp(non-registered)
Good morning! leave all of my dead trees standing for this type of bird unless the dead tree is a safety hazard. This seems to work very well. My Eastern Phoebes are working on their second hatching this summer and eggs are being sat upon for at least a week now. Both parent birds are involved and trade off nest time. Another of our whitetail does that originally had twin fawns now has three fawns in tow! Have not discovered any dead does that would account for this, but then this is big country and heavily forested and brushed. I will try to photograph the deer "family" as soon as I get a chance. I know where they are early each morning. It has been a nice summer so far, except for the many days of rain at times.
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