Latinized from the Greek verb kolápto "to peck".One well-known member of this genus is the Northern Flicker a subspecies of which is known in parts of the southern U.S. as the "Yellowhammer". It is the state bird of Alabama, and the state's nickname is the "Yellowhammer State".Colaptes woodpeckers typically have a brown or green back and wings with black barring, and a beige to yellowish underside, with black spotting or barring. There are usually colorful markings on the head. Many of these birds particularly the northerly species – are more terrestrial than usual among woodpeckers.The genus Colaptes belongs to the diverse tribe Picini, which is included in the Malarpicini by some authors. Regardless, their tribe contains mostly mid-sized and often rather terrestrial woodpeckers with typically greenish or brownish wings, but also some large and dark forms e.g. in the genus Dryocopus. The rather closely related genus Picus can be considered the Old World ecomorphological equivalent of Colaptes it is the type genus of the tribe Picini the true woodpecker subfamily the family of woodpeckers and relatives as well as the suborder and entire order of increasingly more distant woodpecker relatives up to and including the puffbirds . Picus is not as closely related to the flickers as is the genus Piculus, however which have a more conventional lifestyle and forage on the ground less often.Colaptes can be divided into two groups: The typical flickers are slender and more terrestrial species with usually solid-colored tops of the heads. They occur all over the Americas except in polar regions. The forest flickers are more arboreal species almost all of them have a red nape and a different-colored crown. They are found in South America a group of three species formerly placed in Piculus ranges via the mesoamerican Cordillera north to Mexico.