Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bird of the Day

White-Breasted Nuthatch

One of my favorite birds is this little spunky tree climbing bird.  The White-breasted Nuthatch has a huge personality for such a little bird.  The largest of the Nuthatch family is still small compared to most birds.  To make up for its small size, it has a very loud call of "wha-wha-wha" which, does vary in dialect by region.  It is a common sound year round in forests across the United States.  The most interesting behavior of the Nuthatch is it's ability to walk up trees backwards, sideways and any way they like.  They frequent bird feeders and even hide seeds in the bark of trees for later.  Most of their spring/summer diets consist of insects, and other bugs they find in the bark of trees.

Another user of old woodpeckers holes, the female builds a nest of bark, mud, and fur then lines it with softer material.  She lays between 5 to 9 eggs once a season. They continue to use the same cavity season after season.  I have witnessed the fledged brood in action in my backyard.  Talk about a loud family!

 Fun facts about the White-breasted Nuthatch

-The White-breasted Nuthatch doesn't use it's tail to balance on trees while walking on them like woodpeckers.
- They form mixed flocks in the winter with Titmice, Chickadees, and Woodpeckers most likely for protection.  
-Attract Nuthatches to your feeders with seed, peanuts, peanut butter, and suet.  
So the next time, you are in your backyard keep your eyes and ears open to see these fun little tree walkers. Share your experience with the White-breasted Nuthatch in the comments.

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