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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Species Code: COAU

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only.
© NatureMapping Program

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Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Northern flicker photo

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

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Bird Atlas records
Observations | Historic Gap points

Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)


This species is common in most habitats throughout the state. They are generally absent from high Alpine/Parkland tundra, dense urban and industrial areas, and the extensive, dryland wheat farms of eastern Washington. They are uncommon in dense, lowland rain forest. They are common in residential areas and city parks/gardens. Will forage in shrub-steppe if nesting trees are nearby (including wooden utilities poles). This is Washington's most common Woodpecker.

Good habitats in the core areas of use included most habitats except alpine vegetation in the Alpine/Parkland zone, high-density development, estuaries, bare ground, sparse vegetation, and non-irrigated agriculture in the steppe zones. Mid- to late-seral conifer forests in forested zones of the outer Olympic coast region were adequate for use.

Washington breeders represent the western "Red-shafted" Flicker C. a. cafer. Two subspecies were formerly recognized, C. a. cafer of western Washington and C. c. collaris of eastern Washington. In most cases, a tree or pole for nesting, and open habitat or forests nearby, is all that this species requires. Increased residential areas, roads, and logging have certainly increased flicker numbers, though it was probably always a common species. Its large size helps reduce nest-site competition with European Starlings, though the much smaller starlings are sometimes successful in displacing nesting flickers. In Washington, Breeding Bird Survey data show significant increase of 3.6% per year from 1982 to 1991.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester