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A male Flicker, of the Red Shafted race, stopping in search of a drink of water.

The Northern Flicker is part of the genus Colaptes which encompasses 12 New-World woodpeckers.

The Red-shafted Flicker Colaptes auratus cafer resides in western North America. They are red under the tail and underwings and have red shafts on their primaries. They have a beige cap and a grey face. Males have a red moustache. The scientific name, Colaptes auratus cafer, is the result of an error made in 1788 by the German systematist, Johann Gmelin, who believed that its original habitat was in South Africa among the Xhosa people, then known as the "Kaffir" people. (The term "Kaffir" is now considered an extreme ethnic slur in South Africa.)

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Photography by HY-TEC-IMAGES.

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