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Fernandina's Flicker Colaptes fernandinae

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Fernandina's Flicker is an endemic to Cuba. This woodpecker has a patchy distribution across the island of Cuba and primary restricted to the wet palm savanna ecosystems, with an unknown population, from central to western Cuba. This flicker nest primarily in on palms of 3 genus Copernica, Sabal and Roystonea. As the native Cuban palm savanna ecosystem has shrink or impacted by direct and indirect human activities (e.g., cattle ranching, induced fires, invasive species, incursion of seawater level) the population of the Fernandina's Flicker has shrink and therefore shows evidence of population decline. Fernandina's Flicker has a barred plumage pattern that somewhat resembles that of a female Williamson's Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus). Males have a black stripe of feathers in the malar region while in the female this mark is absent. Fernandina's Flickers breed between February to July, and nest in both live and old hollowed out palms. They share these breeding trees with other secondary cavity nesting birds such as American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), Bare-legged Owl (Gymnoglaux lawrencii), and Cuban Parakeet (Aratinga euops). Interestingly there is evidence that nesting holes used by the flickers and other secondary cavity nesting birds are initiated by the West Indian Woodpeckers (Melanerpes superciliaris). During the breeding season there is a strong antagonistic interactions between the two woodpecker species. The West Indian Woodpecker is very territorial and destroys eggs and removes chicks of other secondary nesting bird, including those of the Fernandina's Flicker. This flicker species forages on the ground for ants, however also feeds on ants and termites found in live and decaying palms primarily during the wet season when the ground is flooded.

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© Michael J Andersen

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Fernandina's Flicker (Colaptes fernandinae), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/ferfli1