This large woodpecker with its distinctive plumage is seen all over the United States.
In the East, the yellow-shafted variation is common. In the West, the red-shafted dominate as pictured here.
The Western male has a red mustache, while the male in the Eastern half has a black mustache. You may find one high in a tree, but more likely on the ground searching for ants, a favorite food.
They'll see you approaching first and flush. Then the red or yellow flight feather coloring will be visible.
You won't miss the white rump flying away either... shared by both sexes.
There is a third species of this beautiful woodpecker called the Gilded Flicker, but they're only seen in Southern Arizona, California, and the Baja peninsula of Mexico.
The breast markings of the Northern Flicker are distinct, too. They range from multiple black dots to Valentine-shaped hearts.
(Click any picture to enlarge.)
I caught this one in a blink. Its eye was either closed or the transparent nictitating membrane that protects and lubricates the eye was shut. It's also called a 'third eyelid'.
He could have been dreaming, but he wasn't asleep.
Credits: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds
Sibley's Guide to Birds