A member of the woodpecker family and quite capable of drilling, the flicker is content to forage about the ground for insects instead. Northern flickers will dig into soil, rotted trees or stumps to collect their favorite foods: ants, beetles, and insect larvae.
Two color varieties of northern flicker exist, the yellow-shafted and red-shafted flicker. These color varieties were once thought to be separate species entirely. The color difference is most apparent on the underside of the wings and on the shaft of each flight feather. Northern flickers are easily identified in flight by their bright white rump patch, a trait they share with the northern harrier.