Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)

COMMON NAME: Northern Flicker
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Colaptes auratus auratus
FAMILY: Picidae

Click on any photo to enlarge. All photos were taken 6 Jan 2013.

This Northern Flicker was siting in a large Post Oak tree outside my window. The photos were taken through the window. In this photo you can see the red at the nape of the neck, one of the characteristics of the subspecies “Yellow-shafted Flicker.”

In this photo you can see the solid black mark on the upper chest, a characteristic of the Northern Flicker.

This one, although a bit blurred, shows the yellow under the wings and tail, hence the subspecies name of Yellow-shafted. The other subspecies (not shown) is called a Red-shafted Flicker, which has, you guessed it, red coloring under the wings and tail.

The Yellow-shafted Flicker resides in Eastern North America, while the Red-shafted resides in Western North America. They used to be two separate species (rather than sub-species of one), but they do have overlapping territories and interbreed.

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