Occasionally when I look out the porch windows at the bird feeders in the back yard, I spot an unusual visitor, and this morning it was a Northern Flicker attacking the suet feeder.
Up close, the bird looks about the size of a Hairy Woodpecker, with a somewhat longer bill. Flickers usually feed on the ground, drilling holes for ants in the same way other woodpeckers bore holes in trees looking for grubs. But in the winter, snow cover and frozen ground means that Flickers have to switch to an alternate diet of seeds and berries (e.g., poison oak, dogwood, sumac, wild grape, sunflower seeds, etc.). Apparently suet cake is also on the menu.
I don’t know how long this guy will stick around here before heading south, but maybe he’ll come back for another drink some day.