Just Hanging Around
Photograph - Photography--greeting Cards Or Notes Are Cheaper By The Dozen!
This little white breasted nuthatch was so busy at the bird feeder earlier, but then he came to this tree and looked as if he was "Just Hanging Around"! When I caught him in this "moment", he had probably been storing his seeds he had attained a few minutes before. He hung out for only a few minutes, mostly walking upside down on the side of the tree, but then he was gone again....maybe for more seeds! :)
Active, agile little birds, they have an appetite for insects and large, meaty seeds. They get their common name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to “hatch” out the seed from the inside. White-breasted Nuthatches may be small but their voices are loud, and often their insistent nasal yammering will lead you right to them.
The largest nuthatch, this is still a small bird with a large head and almost no neck. The tail is very short, and the long, narrow bill is straight or slightly upturned.
White-breasted Nuthatches are gray-blue on the back, with a frosty white face and underparts. The black or gray cap and neck frame the face and make it look like this bird is wearing a hood. The lower belly and under the tail are often chestnut.
White-breasted Nuthatches are agile birds that creep along trunks and large branches, probing into bark furrows with their straight, pointed bills. Like other nuthatches, they often turn sideways and upside down on vertical surfaces as they forage. They don’t lean against their tails the way woodpeckers do.
White-breasted Nuthatches are the largest North American nuthatch, and the only one with clear white on the face all the way around the eye. White-breasted Nuthatches have shorter tails and longer, more pointed bills than chickadees or titmice.
White-breasted Nuthatches are common feeder birds. You can attract them by offering large nuts such as sunflower and peanuts, and by putting out suet.
Look for White-breasted Nuthatches along the main branches of large deciduous trees. They’ll likely be moving quickly at odd angles to the vertical. In winter you can find them in small flocks of chickadees and titmice; if you see one in a flock keep your eyes out, as there’s a good chance the bird’s mate is in the flock as well. And it was lightly snowing that day!
If you see a White-breasted Nuthatch making lots of quick trips to and from your feeder – too many for it to be eating them all – it may be storing the seeds for later in the winter, by wedging them into furrows in the bark of nearby trees.
White-breasted Nuthatches typically build their nests in natural tree cavities or abandoned woodpecker holes. They sometimes enlarge these holes but rarely excavate them entirely on their own.
April 25th, 2013
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