Northern Flicker males in Michigan can be identified by a black mustache stripe at the base of the beak. These medium sized woodpeckers have a gray head with a red V on the back of the neck, a black-barred brown back, black polka dots on the belly, a black bib under their long bill and bright yellow feathers on the undersides of their wing and tail.
Flickers dancing around a tree together could be a male and female getting to know each other or two males performing a territorial display. Now that you know how to tell the difference between the males and females you can distinguish between the two.
Before breeding season, rival flickers may face off in a display where the boys face each other, bills pointed upward, and bob their heads or chase each other around or through branches of a tree while a prospective female watches. Females may chase other female rivals around the trees too.
|Two Northern Flicker males in a territorial display from Wikimedia Commons|
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