I've been photographing these birds for several years, and have been calling them Red Shafted Flickers. But when I saw these guys this morning, they appeared much smaller than the ones I've been seeing and the colors appear more flamboyant. Am I hallucinating?
CLOSED: Red Shafted Flicker?
Yes, red-shafted flickers.
Color varies regionally, the ones in the mountains here are always very red - their molted feathers stand out like a beacon an the ground. Perhaps in your case it is either the season, or more likely the lighting - They were showing off their tails while back-lit.
They were facing East, and it was just as the sun was rising. Lit them up quite nicely. I'll have to remember this little factoid. Thanks so much.