Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) wings, Picidae

No Data Available
Specimens courtesy of the Slater Museum
Photo by Robert Niese

Northern Flickers occur in two color morphs across the US. In the west, they are predominantly “red-shafted,” while in the east they are predominantly “yellow-shafted.” Here in western Montana, we have mostly red-shafted, but there are a few areas that are chock-full of “orange-shafted” hybrids (the wing in the upper right is a hybrid). There are extensive hybrid zones throughout BC and AB as well.

Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) wing, Corvidae

No Data Available
Specimen courtesy of the Slater Museum
Photo by Robert Niese

The wings of Black-billed Magpies are quite striking. The deep black feathers covering most of their bodies are actually startlingly iridescent and starkly contrast with the white windows on their outer wing feathers. This contrast could be utilized as a form of visual communication during flight.