Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Tiny, nasal, excitable trunk creepers.  Common across US and southern Canada, especially in eruptive years (2 year cycle); more northerly in summer.  Prefers coniferous and mixed forests; attracted to feeders. Small, short-tailed and barrel chested, with no neck; short chisel bill; blue gray above with salmon underparts, eyestripe.  Tin horn honk distinctive.  Largely insect eating in summer, actively probing bark; eats seeds in winter, and may cache food.  Excavates nest hole in dead wood and lines hole entrance with resin, possibly to deter invaders.   Lifespan up to 7 years. Population ~ 20 million and stable.


Posted on

January 24, 2015