Northern Flicker Male

My nestling Red-shafted Northern Flickers (Colaptes auratus) are around two weeks old now and the adults are still entering the nestbox to feed them. According to Birds of North America Online:

“Nestlings huddle at the bottom of the nest until about 11 days old, then for about 1 week they array themselves around the circumference at the bottom of the cavity with their chins and throats pressed against the wall; at 17–18 days they are strong enough and claws sharp enough to cling to cavity walls. At approximately 16 days, tips of bills can be seen at the nest hole, and heads at 21 days.”

I saw no tips of bills at the nestbox entrance but this is what the nestlings looked like in the box.

Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) Nestlings

The female and male were both feeding the young birds, then sometimes eating the nestling’s excrement and sometimes carrying out the fecal sacs.

This is a photo of the proud father perched on a branch just outside the nestbox.

Northern Red-shafted Flicker Male

And a video I shot of both the adults coming in to feed the youngsters followed by a short clip of the nestlings in the box. I hope you like it!

Written by Larry
Larry Jordan was introduced to birding after moving to northern California where he was overwhelmed by the local wildlife, forcing him to buy his first field guide just to be able to identify all the species visiting his yard. Building birdhouses and putting up feeders brought the avian fauna even closer and he was hooked. Larry wanted to share his passion for birds and conservation and hatched The Birder's Report in September of 2007. His recent focus is on bringing the Western Burrowing Owl back to life in California where he also monitors several bluebird trails. He is a BirdLife Species Champion and contributes to several other conservation efforts, being the webmaster for Wintu Audubon Society and the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Urban Bird Foundation. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Pass.