Saturday, December 15, 2012

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

I have been bugging Tom to take some photos of the Red-breasted Nuthatch at our feeder. He kept telling me that the birds were too skittery to get a picture. 

But I really wanted some pictures so I could do this blog about the little birds that are an irrupting species in the lower forty-eight states. Some years they are in southwestern Ohio in the winter and some years they stay up in Canada.  The determining factor seems to be the number of seed-filled cones available on the the spruce and other conifers in the north.  If the seed crop is scanty they fly down our way.

Tom, being the inventive soul that he is, took these photographs from our dining room window using the drapes as a blind.  He used his Canon EOS, Rebel T11 and his Tamron lens given to him at his retirement nearly fifteen years ago.

            "This is a good perch."

          "Oh, hello there!"

         "Want to see my tail,too?"

         "How about a classic side profile?"

"Did you get a good look at the markings on my head?"
A few years ago on a very cold and snowy late afternoon, Stephen and I decided to fill the bird feeders. The red-breasted nuthatches were busily eating away on what little suet was left.  We watched them for a minute or two but it was too cold to stand outside long so we walked up to the feeder. They flew as we knew they would.

Stephen filled the feeder and we stepped back. Suddenly, the little birds flew in to the new suet cake. We could have reached out and touched them.  We didn't move. 

The nuthatches had come to dine at our restaurant. The nuthatches carried  on a polite conversation between bites of suet.  We didn't understand what they were saying in their tiny voices but they were clearly enjoying their meal.


  1. he did great..they are good photos..I agree they are skittish..sometimes I sit outside for a long time to get a few shots. I didn't realize that there are two kinds of Nuthatches..we have the White ones here..and maybe a few of the others. We call them assups:)

  2. I love nuthatches - especially the way they eat upside down. So cute :)