Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

This area isn't supposed to be so frigid. The average high for this time of year is 37 and the average low is 21, but recently it's been much colder than that. The high today is supposed to be 13 degrees and the low will be below zero. Tomorrow won't be much better. Our outdoor Christmas lights won't be coming down anytime soon! Yesterday we got several inches of fluffy snow, and most of the schools were closed (including mine). Between the snow and the cold, I've been going outside as little as possible. Pepper the cat is lap sitting whenever he can find an empty one.

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?


  1. Cute bird!!! Hope your freezing weather finishes soon. Our weather here is so hot and steamy - I'm getting tired from sweating!!
    Have a nice weekend!

  2. I keep seeing all these blogs about snow and cold...I WANT SOME!! Sandmen are much harder to do than snowmen!

  3. oh good for was a green Christmas..I miss snow a lot...

  4. I always KNEW that not everyone had cold weather in December, but never really thought about it until I started reading blogs from people in the Southern Hemisphere.

  5. Love the birds this time of year! smiles.

  6. Beautiful bird.
    It's kind of nice weather here on the CA coast. Sorry. :-)

  7. Isn't that interesting when birds out of the blue come to one;s feeder that one has never seen before? Ahh, with the computer and internet it is SO much easier to identify them too. It could have taken ages going to bookstores and libraries and whatnot, don't you think?

    Yes, it's been cold here too. in fact we've had -8F at nights and sometimes just 9F in the day, but the diff with us and you is we get the bright sun being a mile high which makes it feel warmer than it really is. And, of course, it's so dry here.

  8. Emom-I agree

    AnotherQ-That's ok. I enjoy having four seasons, so take the bad with the good.

    Mmm-You're so right about the wonders of the Internet. I sincerely doubt that I would have been able to identify the bird without it. (They fly away just as you sit down to admire them!) Actually, I think we got "your" snow--it was pure powder, instead of the usual stick-together stuff that's good for making snowballs.