Colaptes auratus

I have a new favourite local bird (sorry, Spotted Towhee, you’ve been toppled). Look at that polka-dotted breast!

I saw a Northern Flicker in Topanga yesterday; it was only my second sighting of this gorgeous woodpecker. It is native to most of North America, parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands, and is one of the few woodpecker species that migrate. According to Wikipedia, over 100 common names for the northern flicker are known, including yellowhammer, clape, gaffer woodpecker, harry-wicket, heigh-ho, wake-up, walk-up, wick-up, yarrup, and gawker bird.

Sketched from a photo by Ashok Khosla

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