Gilded flicker facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsGilded flicker
|Range of the gilded flicker|
The gilded flicker (Colaptes chrysoides) is a large-sized woodpecker (mean length of 29 cm (11 in)) of the Sonoran, Yuma, and eastern Colorado Desert regions of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, including all of Baja California, except the extreme northwestern region. Golden-yellow underwings distinguish the gilded flicker from the northern flicker found within the same region, which has red underwings.
Four subspecies are recognized:
- The Cape gilded flicker (C. c. chrysoides) resides in southern Baja California.
- The brown gilded flicker (C. c. brunnescens) resides in northern and central Baja California.
- Mearns' gilded flicker (C. c. mearnsi) resides in extreme southeastern California to Arizona and northwestern Mexico.
- The Mexican gilded flicker (C. c. tenebrosus) resides in northwestern Mexico from northern Sonora to northern Sinaloa.
The gilded flicker most frequently builds its nest hole in a saguaro cactus, excavating a nest hole nearer to the top than to the ground. The cactus defends itself against water loss into the cavity of the nesting hole by secreting sap that hardens into a waterproof structure that is known as a saguaro boot. Northern flickers, on the other hand, nest in riparian trees and very rarely inhabit saguaros. Gilded flickers occasionally hybridize with northern flickers in the narrow zones where their ranges and habitats overlap.
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