The Alabama State Bird: Get to Know the Yellowhammer

When it comes to the state symbols of Alabama, there are many things that come to mind: from the southern longleaf pine tree and yellowhammer flower to the state mammal (black bear) and mineral (hematite). However, one symbol stands out above the rest – the state bird.

Meet The Yellowhammer

The official bird of Alabama is none other than the Northern Flicker, known locally as “Yellowhammer.” It’s a medium-sized woodpecker with a unique mix of colors on its plumage – black-scalloped brown back feathers and wings with red patches. Its underparts have a beige color while its face has characteristic black markings around each eye.

Aside from being an important symbol for Alabama, this bird also plays a vital ecological role in our environment. They play significant roles in pest control by feeding on insects such as ants or beetles which may pose harm to crops or plants.

How Did The Yellowhammer Become Alabama’s State Bird?

In 1927, after much lobbying by various groups including schoolchildren, ornithologists, and politicians; Governor Bibb Graves issued an executive order declaring “yellow-shafted flicker” as Alabama’s official bird. This decision was clear considering this specific species can be found all over North America year-round but is most commonly seen in eastern states like Alabama during spring migration or breeding season when they are more active searching for food sources.

As mentioned earlier, people who live in Alabaman have a different name for Northern Flickers – Yellowhammers- due to their bright yellow feathers located on their undersides. Interestingly enough because these birds were often used as inspiration for Confederate uniforms during Civil War times thanks largely because of William L Yancey House speech about secession where he stated “Let us adopt them [the northern flicker] forthwith as emblematic of our cause.”

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Northern Flicker (Yellowhammer) is a great choice for Alabama’s state bird. It not only has cultural significance but also contributes to the environment in an important way. This type of woodpecker can be found throughout North America and is known by many different names depending on where you live! If you ever find yourself in Alabama during breeding season make sure to keep an eye out for this beautiful bird as it truly represents what makes the Yellowhammer State so special.