September 6, 1927
The Legislature and Gov. Bibb Graves passed a bill declaring the Northern flicker as the official State Bird of Alabama. Known as the yellowhammer because of its yellow underwings and flight feather shafts, the woodpecker is found throughout Alabama during all seasons. The otherwise gray-brown songbird eats a varied diet, including ants and poison ivy berries. During the Civil War, Alabama became known as the “Yellowhammer State” after a company of young cavalry from Huntsville wore uniforms adorned with fine yellow cloth. The name spread until all Confederate troops from Alabama were referred to as “yellowhammers.”
Read more at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.