Solid bright orange underwings?

by Tammy
(Placerville, California)

I just saw a larger bird, maybe the size of a hawk fly off from our backyard garden area. I saw the underside of its wings...a bright orange. Never seen that before. The body kind of grayish, not a black. Maybe a tan like grey?

We live in No Cal in a rural setting in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's any ideas? Any one? Please help!

Thank you in advance!

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Oct 08, 2015
Thanks Brook
by: Tammy

Hi Brook.

Thank you for your reply. I should have mentioned I was comparing size to the Cooper's hawk. I was thinking flicker also. Seemed kinda big for that but it was just a fleeting moment, then it was gone.

I did look up pictures per your technique with success. I am still not totally convinced that is what it was. I am hoping to see it again to be certain.

Have a beautiful weekend!


Oct 07, 2015
solid bright orange underwings?
by: Brook

Hi Tammy, I don't know the species or the size of hawks in your area so as to compare your bird. I'm guessing it could possibly be a Red Shafted Northern Flicker. The flicker is part of the woodpecker family and it's main diet is ants, they also love suet. The red shafted male has a red mark on the side of it's head (face) but the female doesn't, it's under-wings are bright orange especially in the sunshine. It's breast is tan with black spots. To be certain of an ID you can find general pics by typing, "picture of red shafted northern flicker" in your search bar and to find more specifics of the bird go to:

the best site #1.

next best #2.


I hope you find your bird

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