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Friday, February 5, 2010

Lovely Little Nuthatch

When your ears pick up that nasal note - that repeated, steady ---neh-neh-neh---it is your first clue that a White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) must be close by.

Found creeping along the trunks and branches of trees in most woodland and forest habitats in the US, they frequently will accompany mixed-species flocks of chickadees and titmice to visit bird feeders druing the winter months.  Observing their behavior is most entertaining.  These small, stout birds (5 1/4" - 5 1/2") scurry heads-up or heads-down as they forage under loose bark and in tree crevices for insects.  They are, most certainly, busy little critters!

This fine feathered friend has just plucked a seed from the feeder.  He's flown down to the railing,


where he will place his seed into a crevice in the wood.


A quick look around to make sure all is safe,


and then he hammers on the seed with his sharp bill to break the shell.


In their forest habitat, the White-breasted Nuthatch will also store its seeds in crevices
to save for later.

Nuthatches also appreciate your offerings of suet.


The White-breasted Nuthatch is a cavity nester at mid to upper levels in tress.  Their nests consist of  a bed of grass and bark, and here they may lay from 4 to 8 whitish eggs speckled with reddish browns.



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13 comments:

Martha Miller said...

LOVE the sweet little nuthatch!

LeAnn * ~ See Great Things said...

I very much enjoyed your post! You write really well. I especially appreciated you telling me what was happening with the bird with the seed. It engaged me and now I see the bird differently. I had not idea that was going on! Thanks. ~

rinzo said...

Great Entry! God Bless!

Lisa said...

Awwwww...that's a sweet little Nuthatch. I love the name, too! :O)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: I do get these at my suet feeder. I think they are a special bird.

Natural Moments said...

In the summers I love trying to find their nests in the holes of trees. Its a great sport.

eileeninmd said...

Great shots of the Nuthatch, they are one of my favorite yardbirds.

Lavender Cottage said...

Thank you for visiting LC.
I have nuthatches (white & red breasted) year round as well and always enjoy hearing their 'honking' when I'm out gardening.
Enjoyed your blog and have become a follower. :-)

Laura Trevey said...

Hi Karen!

Thank you for all of your sweet comments ~~ Have a beautiful Sunday!

The little birdie is sooooo cute!
xoxo Laura

Audrey said...

Love the bottom picture! You obviously have a much better camera than I do :)
Or maybe your birds sit still longer than ours.

John said...

Beautiful Nuthatch, I get very excited when I see one, just do not see them too often.

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a little gem.

John

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Love them...and their color!

Carrie P. said...

Thanks for sharing that. I have Nuthatches at my feeders too.