Adult northern flickers are brown above with small black bars, and whitish below with black spots; the head is tan with a gray crown. Male has a black moustachial mark. A black crescent separates the spotted breast from the clear tan throat. The rump is white. Wing lining and underside of the tail are bright yellow. The call is a sharp descending whistle. The courtship vocalization, “wicka-wicka-wicka-wicka,” is very similar to that of the pileated woodpecker, but it lacks the resonance and volume.