This familiar large woodpecker and the closely related gilded flicker show flashy color in the wings and a bold white rump in flight. Yellow-winged eastern and boreal birds (“yellow-shafted flickers”) and salmon- or red-winged western and Mexican birds (“red-shafted flickers”) differ in plumage but interbreed extensively in the Great Plains, with birds showing combined or intermediate characters seen widely across the continent. Polytypic. Length 12".
All northern flickers show a bold black chest crescent, a white rump, and bright color (salmon-red or yellow) in the shafts and much of the vanes of the flight feathers and on the underwing coverts. All northern flickers are pale buffy white to rich buff below with black spotting and have brown to gray-brown backs with