Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Species Spotlight: White-breasted Nuthatch

Squirrel waiting his turn
Today I made the decision to every now and then post on a specific species with a few little bits of info.  It seems only fitting that I start with a member of the group that I am proud to say, I have seen every species that occurs in the U.S.  There are 4 nuthatch species in the U.S. and I have seen them all.  Since 50% of them (aka. 2 species) occur in Connecticut I guess it makes for a good start.  There is one other species in the Southeast (the Brown-headed Nuthatch) that is associated with Pitch Pine forests and one on the West Coast, the Pygmy Nuthatch. 

W-b Nuthatch showing off by walking down the tree.

The White-breasted Nuthatch is the more common species found in Connecticut and will readily come in to bird feeders.  In the field, they are most easily identified by their behavior of clinging to tree trunks and are the only bird species that will 'climb' down a tree trunk head-first. 

White-breasted Nuthatch

They are cavity nesters and have one brood per year with 5 to 9 eggs.  For more information see the All About Birds page on this species.  I consider this species one of the three... The White-breasted Nuthatch along with Black-capped  Chickadees and Tufted Titmouse are known to stick together in foraging packs especially during the winter.  It's always a good idea to look at tree trunks when you have a group of the other species in a small flock. 

White-breasted Nuthatch with seed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Little Movement

A little cheating post here since I don't have time or inclination to go find any pictures...  Ok maybe I'll put one in.  Anyway, I promise I'll get a few pics up from my trip although over all it was pretty unbirdy.  BUT it's the start of Hawk Watch season here in CT and I am super excited.  I went out to my secret lunch spot today, binoculars at the ready, and had our first nice little push of raptors.  In about 10 minutes there were around 3 Red-tailed Hawks (besides our 2 resident birds also out), at least 1 Red-shouldered Hawk, 3 Osprey, and 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk.  It got pretty quiet after that, more Red-tailed action but probably just our local two. 

Speaking of our local birds.... they could use a good molt.  Both birds are missing numerous feathers and look pretty ratty. 

Here's an old picture of an Osprey.