The warm spring weather has awoken many ant colonies, great news for ant-lovers like the Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus). This female Flicker was foraging on the ground, greedily tonguing up loads of ants, something I have seen numerous Flickers do over the years. Ants likely make up a substantial portion of their diet during certain times of the year.
Of course I can’t help but mention the larger food chain here. When Flicker’s and other birds forage on the ground, they are extremely vigilant because of high exposure to predators such as raptors. The Flickers themselves can become prey to such birds as the Cooper’s Hawk and Northern Goshawk.
From ants, to woodpeckers, to raptors: The circle is complete.
Tags: 52-week project, ants, Colaptes, Colaptes auratus, northern flicker, prey, woodpecker