Now, that's yellow.
When you think of yellow plumage, you think goldfinch or yellow warbler or maybe the vanishing evening grosbeak. You don't generally think woodpecker, after all, they are black and white and red, right?
That's why I love the above photo of a Northern flicker in flight recently sent to me by Joy Baker.
A flickering fire of Y - E - L - L - O - W !
Now you see it, now you don't.
That's because the modest yellowhammer of Alabama fame keeps its dazzling yellow, its flicker, hidden under a spotted tawny, beige wrap.
Curiously, not all flickers are yellow underneath. They occur in two distinct sub-species that intermingle and produce mixed clutches where their ranges overlap.
The Red-shafted Flicker (Colaptes auratus cafer) resides in western North America. They are red under the tail and underwings and have red shafts on their primaries.
Thanks for the use of the top photo, Joy!