Alabama State Bird
- Official Alabama State Bird Name: Yellowhammer
American Ornithologists Union Common Name: Northern
- Other names: Yellow-shafted Flicker
- Scientific name: Colaptes auratus
- Length: 12.5" (31cm)
The Contact call a high, piercing, clear keew;
when flushed a soft muffled bwirr. Song a long, strong,
relatively low-pitched series kwikwikwikwi... continued
steadily for up to 15 seconds. Drum averages moderate to fast speed,
but variable, overlapping many species.
- Diet: Insects, especially ants (more than any other
North American bird); also occasionally seeds, acorns, nuts, and grain.
- Habitat: Open forests, woodlots, groves, farms,
towns, semi-open country.
- Displays: Courtship: noisy, active, with calling,
drumming, wing and tail flashing, billing, and bobbing while pair face
each other. Aggressive displays include bill pointing, head
swinging/bobbing, tail spreading.
- Number of broods: 1 to 2
- Nest: Prefers tree snag; will use variety of
cavities: poles and posts, houses, banks, haystacks, boxes.
- Nest Height: Usually 6-15', up to 100'.
- Eggs: Averages 5-8 white eggs 1.1"
- Incubation period: 11-14 days
- Fledge: 25-28 days after hatching
- Longevity Record: 9 Years and 2 months (according to USGS
Bird Banding Lab)
Alabama has been known as the "Yellowhammer State" since the Civil War. The Alabama state bird
yellowhammer nickname was applied to the Confederate soldiers from Alabama when
a company of young cavalry soldiers from Huntsville, under the command of Rev.
D.C. Kelly, arrived at Hopkinsville, KY, where Gen. Forrest's troops were
stationed. The officers and men of the Huntsville company wore fine, new
uniforms, whereas the soldiers who had long been on the battlefields were
dressed in faded, worn uniforms. On the sleeves, collars and coattails of the
new cavalry troop were bits of brilliant yellow cloth. As the company rode past
Company A, Will Arnett cried out in greeting "Yellowhammer, Yellowhammer,
flicker, flicker!" The greeting brought a roar of laughter from the men and from
that moment the Huntsville soldiers were spoken of as the "yellowhammer
company." The term quickly spread throughout the Confederate Army and all
Alabama troops were referred to unofficially as the "Yellowhammers."
When the Confederate Veterans in Alabama were organized they took pride in being
referred to as the "Yellowhammers" and wore a yellowhammer feather in their caps
or lapels during reunions.
A bill introduced in the 1927 legislature by Representative Thomas E. Martin,
Montgomery County, was passed and approved by Governor Bibb Graves on September
6, 1927 and named the Yellowhammer as the Alabama State Bird.
Act 27-542, Acts of Alabama, September 6, 1927
Alabama State Emblems, Alabama Department of Archives and History, nd.
Alabama State Bird
50 State Birds
Bird Watching Bliss
Bird Watching Binoculars, Heated Bird Bath & Window Feeder
No batteries, adjustable, easy to clean...and no squirrels!
"Best New Product" Award.
Window Bird Feeder
Roof protects seed from rain & snow, securely fastens with suction cups.
Click Images or Links To View More Info