Any of six species of New World woodpeckers (genus Colaptes) noted for spending much time on the ground eating ants. The sticky saliva of the flicker is alkaline, perhaps to counteract the formic acid that ants secrete. Its bill is more slender than that of most woodpeckers and is slightly down-curved. Most flickers have a white rump, black breast band, and varied head markings, and most are about 13 in. (33 cm) long.
Yellow-shafted flicker (Colaptes auratus)—B.M. Shaub
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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