Each year, I try to watch flicker parents flying in to feed their chicks. This year, a Merlin has intimidated our local flickers, so I had to go along the shore to find some other pilings in which flickers were in cavity nests. Finally, on the third visit, there was some action.
A Norther Flicker female flies towards a cavity nest bearing food for its chick. Flicker parents swallow the insects they find, then regurgitate them for the chick. This explains why there does not appear to be anything in the parent’s bill.
Feeding is not impressive; the parent sticks its bill down the throat of the chick and regurgitates.