The yellowhammer is Alabama’s state bird. It was adopted as the state bird in 1927. The yellowhammer is a small, brown songbird with a bright yellow head and breast. They can be found throughout Alabama year-round. Yellowhammers are common birds and are not considered to be threatened or endangered.
The Yellowhammer is also known as the Northern Flicker.
The Yellowhammer is a medium-sized songbird with a long, narrow tail.
The color of the plumage is grayish brown with black highlights and yellow underwings. The yellowhammer is a woodpecker. Males and females look similar. Juveniles are paler than adults. His black mustache makes him easy to identify as a male.
The yellowhammer is migratory and breeds in trees in open areas across eastern North America, unlike most woodpeckers.
The yellowhammer beak is not as strong as other woodpeckers’, so it generally pecks out a nest in soft wood from dead or dying trees. It may also take up residence in an abandoned bird’s burrow or hole.
The yellowhammers eat insects including ants, flies, caterpillars, snails, berries, nuts and seeds. They feed mostly on the ground rather than digging into trees like other woodpeckers; nevertheless, they may prey on insects in midair.
The yellowhammer uses its long, barbed tongue to capture big quantities of ants.
The yellowhammer is also known to sit on an anthill and allow the ants to crawl over its wings. Ants’ acid may assist in the treatment of parasites, according to researchers.
- Kingdom: Animalia (animal)
- Phylum: Chordata (chordates)
- Class: Aves (birds)
- Order: Piciformes (woodpeckers, toucans, puffbirds and jacamars)
- Family: Picidae (woodpeckers, piculets, wrynecks and sapsuckers)
- Subfamily: Picinae (woodpeckers, sapsuckers)
- Genus: Colaptes (woodpeckers)
- Species: Colaptes aurutus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Subspecies: Colaptes aurutus aurutus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Binomial Name: Colaptes aurutus