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Northern Flickers Migrating

The Northern Flicker is one of the few North American woodpeckers that is strongly migratory. However,  most of the eastern migrants are Canadian breeders.  They fly south from Canada with big flights moving down the Atlantic coast in the fall to the southeastern U.S.. Peak fall migration occurs from late September to early October, with some migration continuing to early November. As a result, New England sees an increase in the number of flickers sighted at this time of year.  More southern populations are sedentary, and do not migrate. Northern Flickers that nest in New England do both.  Some remain here for the winter, while some fly further south and return next spring to their northern breeding grounds.

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12 responses

  1. Frances Howes

    Well, I wish the ones here would migrate and forget the way home! They started On the aluminum chimney cap in March this year and still occasionally still get Up there for a tuneup til this day. Great way to get the word out but is jarring When unexpected. Silly things. Love, Pogo

    Sent from my iPad


    September 25, 2019 at 6:51 am

  2. kathiefive

    Here on Isle au Haut there are flickers everywhere. As I drive along the road, they fly up from the verges, their white rumps flashing. Between my house and Town I sometimes see 20 or 30. And monarchs are abundant!! Hundreds of them. They love the goldenrod and the asters.

    September 25, 2019 at 7:53 am

    • Alice

      Please tell them to stop here, south of Boston, on their way south, plenty of Goldenrod & some Asters.

      September 25, 2019 at 8:28 am

    • Alice

      Thank you! 😁 A fast flyer! I just had a Monarch on Goldenrod. ❤️❤️

      September 26, 2019 at 10:40 am

  3. Alice

    I think they are jaunty and their underside is beautiful when flying. It’s fun to know the difference between males & females.

    September 25, 2019 at 7:58 am

    • Alice, what is the difference between males and females. (I guess I could look it up, but since you mentioned it…)

      September 25, 2019 at 8:43 am

      • Alice

        (So Mary’s photo is of a male)

        September 25, 2019 at 11:04 am

  4. lilacs1160

    Love your blog—thanks so much!
    Have an unrelated question : was on Martha’s Vineyard (Edgartown) last weekend and there were over a dozen dead horseshoe crabs (all sizes) on Fuller St. beach walking towards the lighthouse. Been coming here all my life (60+ years) and never seen this. Have any idea why this is happening? Many thanks!

    September 25, 2019 at 9:14 am

    • Hi, my first thought is to ask you if they possibly could have been molted horseshoe crab shells…young females molt this time of year (in the water) and their shells wash up on shore. Not sure if this is the case in Martha’s Vineyard, but one possibility?

      September 25, 2019 at 4:05 pm

  5. Alice

    Dell: males have a black moustache, also called a malar (along the malar/cheek bone). The females don’t.

    September 25, 2019 at 10:25 am

  6. Yes, my Flicker family has gone from here in Ontario, the last I saw them was last week. Although out and about driving I still see the white rump flying past, so not all have left. It has been very warm here for the time of year. I suspect that will change a bit tomorrow.

    September 25, 2019 at 8:52 pm

  7. Bill On The Hill

    The flicker has got to be one of the handsomest birds around imo. They are a constant around my property & just a couple mornings back I awoke to a rat, rat, rat. It was a male flicker hammering away on the picnic table just outside the kitchen window.
    I have numerous images of them in my bird folders…
    I too still have an abundance of monarchs flitting about the goldenrod here in the highlands of n. central Vt.
    The last hummer sighting was Sept. 14, her departure was right on schedule…
    Bill… :~)

    September 26, 2019 at 8:21 am

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