I suppose most people aren't thrilled to find a woodpecker resting in their rafters, but this male Red-Shafted Northern Flicker has been an amiable house guest for many nights. Only once has he knocked about, so I don't think he's causing any damage. He may, however, have been feeding on baby bats that were previously roosting there. Audubon mentions that this behavior was observed in Wyoming.
You can tell he's a male by the red-orange cheek patch. Here in the west we get the Red-Shafted variety. (See the orange tail feathers. They show up brighter in flight.) In the north and east they have a Yellow-Shafted form. All About Birds has some lovely comparison pictures.
Every night when I take the dog out for her final constitutional, I look up to see if my bird has found his way home. Usually he's perched in the porch rafters. This night (above) I disturbed him with a flash photo, but I guess we're still friends.
Here's a female (no bright orange cheek patch) in a more typical woodpecker pose. Fortunately, she's pecking a tree, not my house.
You can just glimpse orange under her tail feathers. If I could catch her in flight you'd see a beautiful bright orange flash under her wings and tail, and possibly the white top-of-the-rump patch, depending on the viewing angle.
Here's the male, photographed and added a week after this post was first published. He was being shy earlier.
This girl is sharing a drink with a bluebird at the local watering hole. May we all show such kind conviviality to our neighbors here and around the world.