Birda Logo
Species Guide

Gilded Flicker

Colaptes chrysoides

The Gilded Flicker, Colaptes chrysoides, is a striking woodpecker of considerable size, averaging 29 cm (11 in) in length. It graces the desert landscapes of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico with its presence. A notable feature setting it apart from its close relatives is the vibrant yellow hue under its wings, a contrast to the red underwings of the Northern Flicker with which it shares its range.

Identification Tips

To identify the Gilded Flicker, look for the characteristic yellow underwing as the bird takes flight. The male can be distinguished by a black malar stripe, while both sexes exhibit a barred back and spotted belly, typical of the genus Colaptes.


The Gilded Flicker shows a strong preference for nesting in the iconic saguaro cactus, often choosing a site closer to the top than the ground. It can also be found in desert washes where cottonwood or willow trees provide alternative nesting opportunities.


This bird is endemic to the Sonoran, Yuma, and eastern Colorado Desert regions, extending its range through all of Baja California, save for the extreme northwest. Its distribution also includes parts of southeastern California, Arizona, and northwestern Mexico.


The Gilded Flicker is known to excavate nesting cavities in saguaros a year in advance, allowing the cactus to form a protective "boot" of hardened sap. It may occasionally hybridize with the Northern Flicker where their habitats overlap.


Breeding biology of the Gilded Flicker is not well-documented, but nesting is known to commence in early April in the United States. Pair bonds are formed for the duration of the breeding season.

Similar Species

The Northern Flicker is the most similar species within its range, distinguishable by its red underwings compared to the yellow of the Gilded Flicker. Hybridization can occur, making identification in overlap zones more challenging.

Diet and Feeding

Ants form the bulk of the Gilded Flicker's diet, supplemented by other insects such as beetles and termites. It forages primarily on the ground, employing its tongue to probe anthills or picking up insects directly. Fruits and berries are also consumed.

Conservation status

The Gilded Flicker is currently classified as Least Concern by the IUCN and is considered Secure by NatureServe, indicating a stable population without immediate threats to its survival.

Gilded Flicker Sounds

Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Gilded Flickers on Birda


More Woodpeckers

A photo of a Bay Woodpecker (Blythipicus pyrrhotis) , male

Bay Woodpecker

Blythipicus pyrrhotis
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
Robred 2
Fun way to add to your birdwatching experience
I enjoy watching birds in my backyard, but this app helped me really pay attention while on vacation this summer. It was fun to add new birds to my bird watching app.
Bryan C
Clean and easy to use
Really enjoying this app, it's clean and easy to use. I love the ease of being able to add those one-off birds without starting a whole checklist. I also like the social aspect, like the parts of my Facebook I like, without the ads and junk, just birds. Can't wait to see it become more populated.
The best bird logging app
Birda is honestly the best bird logging app I have seen. I love all the features it has from being able to do a session and log all the birds you see in one sitting, to being able to connect with other birders from all over the globe!
Awesome App
I really enjoy using this app! It is such a friendly community of bird-lovers who are happy to help if I need ID advice. It’s been great motivation to get outdoors and go birding more! 10/10 😍😍
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
David C
Very knowledgeable group
Nice friendly birding community. Very knowledgeable group with a willingness to help.
Alex J
Friendly and helps to identify birds
Great birding app, good for logging your sightings, also has nice species guide. I'm enjoying the social aspect more than I expected, everyone seems friendly and helps to identify unknown birds. Good mix of newbies and experienced users.
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Great App
Great app to use for logging and communicating with others who are interested in birds
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.