Even the birds are responding to the abnormal weather. The other day there was one at the feeder perched on the tray that I had never seen before. At first glance it looked like a huge mourning dove, but it had dark spots all over its body, a red spot on the back of its head, and a long pointed beak. I went to the computer, did a search, and found out I was looking at a Northern Flicker:
The picture, taken by Sally Sharamitaro, is from the Website of Bob Corbett, who documents all the birds he's seen in his St. Louis yard since 2006.
Northern Flickers are members of the woodpecker family. It's the only woodpecker that commonly feeds on the ground. Their primary food is insects, but they also eat berries, seeds and nuts; they're particularly fond of sunflower seeds, but I suspect in this cold weather they'd eat just about anything.
After the bird ate for a few minutes it flew away. I keep looking for the bird to reappear on my deck, but so far it hasn't returned. I wonder where its home is?