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Flickers/Buffleheads

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Flickers/Buffleheads
Just read a report via Audubon about the marked decline of flickers. Between 1966 and 2012 the decline has been 49%. Of course the decline of any bird species is sad. But duck hunters should pay special attention to this decline. While certainly not entirely, buffleheads rely to a great deal using holes made by flickers. In the 1971 book, Buffleheads, by Authony Erskine, he made the fact plain: "The availability of nest cavities is governed by numbers of flickers to make new sites." I think duck hunters should keep this well in mind. Perhaps just limit the number of buffleheads shot to a drake now and then?
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Re: Flickers/Buffleheads In reply to
Any indication as to what has caused the decline of the Flickers?
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Re: Flickers/Buffleheads In reply to
A change in migration patterns is my thought.
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Re: Flickers/Buffleheads In reply to
My guess would be this decline is due to all of the pesticides and sprays folks put on their lawns, where flickers spend significant time.
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Re: Flickers/Buffleheads In reply to
Agreed, flickers eat primarily ground insects and bug larvae. The popularity of spraying and spreading pesticides to kill off every bug in sight in yards is increasing dramatically. Couple that with more ground being used as yard instead of other natural or untreated areas is growing. I also would think though that feral cats has to be a huge issue for them considering the amount of time these birds spend on the ground and if any other invasive species may compete for their food source such as European starlings.