Many birds species spend the winter in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Some species, like Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice, spend their time in mixed foraging flocks, searching for food sources as a group. Other species, like the American Robin, will spend their time in groups of their own species.
During inclement weather, like a snow storm, most birds will huddle in the crevice of a tree branch, trying to find shelter from the cold and wet. Some species will hang tight to the trunk of a tree. Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers use their special, zygodactyl feel (i.e., 2 toes facing forward, 2 toes facing back) and stiff tail feathers to brace themselves tight again a large pine or hardwood.
In this photo, naturalist Will Cook has perfectly captured the zygodactyl feet of the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker. If you'd like to see more of Will Cook's fantastic photos, visit his website at http://www.carolinanature.com/birds/.
If the birds are hungry enough, they will come out of their relatively warm resting spots for a high quality food source, like the shriveling fruits of the beauty berry bush or seed offered by a bird-loving homeowner.