Mystery Bird- Help! Bird ID - Northern Flicker?

by Lydia
(Athol, Idaho)

Northern Flicker Red Shafted Flicker

Northern Flicker Red Shafted Flicker

I didn't get a close enough look at this bird for all the details people normally need. I'm trying to remember how it stood, whether there were wing bars, etc. It was about the size of a blue jay, and my first thought was a woodpecker because it perched on our door and pecked at the siding of our house.
I have been through every page of The Sibley Guide to Birds, and I can't find it anywhere. We live in northern Idaho, in an area that does support pileated woodpeckers...
I remember being struck by its bright plumage. It was red and grey (grey body, red under wings and tail). The picture also shows spots of red on its crown and under beak, and speckles along its belly. As you can see in the picture, the beak is more long and pointed than round.
We looked at cardinals, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, crossbills...any help would be appreciated!

Hi Lydia,
Sorry for the delayed reply - didn't see you submission until today (email forwarder issue). Anyway, the photo is a little blurred so it is difficult to see details, but from what I can see and from your description it looks like a northern flicker, also called a red-shafted flicker. The bright red under the wings and "speckles" on its belly really are good field marks.

Northern Flicker at Bird Bath

Here is a life history page with photos about the Northern Flicker.

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