The northern flicker is a large woodpecker that's fairly common throughout most of North America. There are two distinct geographical groups which look quite different, red-shafted and yellow-shafted flickers. Until the 1980s, these were considered to be separate species. Yellow shafted flickers are found in the east and the Pacific Northwest, red-shafted flickers are found in the West.
As the name implies, the shaft or quill of the birds' wing and tail feathers are either a bright, salmon-red color or a golden yellow color. In addition, red and yellow shafted flickers have different facial markings.
In Southeast Alaska, both types of flickers are found, and there is considerable intergradation of the two races.