Northern Flicker – yellow shafted


(Colaptes auratus)

Northern Flicker is a common member of the woodpecker family, often seen on the ground eating its favorite food – ants. The red-shafted (western) race male has a red facial (malar) stripe and rusty-red vent, while the yellow-shafted (eastern) race male instead shows its red color on its nape and has a black malar stripe and a yellow vent. Both races show a prominent white rump patch, which is easily seen in flight. The yellow-shafted Northern Flicker is the state bird of Alabama, where it is called Yellowhammer. It is the only state bird from the woodpecker family.

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