Woodpeckers are beneficial to any garden, as they spend much of their time excavating insects and larvae from dead and rotting wood. Our largest expected woodpecker, the Northern Flicker, forages differently. It spends considerable time on the ground hunting for ants and other terrestrial insects, using its large beak to excavate soil.
Northern Flickers have many sub-species, including Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted. Red-shafted Flickers are the Western U.S. sub-species, and are found in and around the garden almost year-round. Occasionally, Yellow-shafted Flickers (normally found east of the Rocky Mountains) show-up in Los Angeles, and we have documented them in the garden a few times now.