A large-sized woodpecker, very similar to Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus). Overall a pale sandy color, spotted below with a brown crown and gray face and a black oval shaped bib. Golden-yellow underwings distinguish the gilded flicker from the northern flicker which has red underwings. Males have a red mustache stripe, sexes are otherwise similar.
Found in saguaro cactus forests of the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.