New Bird Arrives

November 14, 2012 | Greg Dodge

Red-breasted Nuthatches showed up at the feeders in the Bird Viewing Exhibit today. It’s been so long since I’d seen a R-b Nuthatch that I’d forgoten whether or not I’d ever seen one here at the Museum. After checking my records, yes, I had seen them here before. Must have been the excitement of the sighting that caused my temporary memory loss.

Anyway, here’s just a few photos:

A Red-breasted Nuthatch reaches into the feeder for a sunflower seed.

This’ll do.

The bird flies off to a nearby perch.

With the seed held in place by a foot, a bit of leverage and pounding with a sharp bill, the seed is opened.

These birds may or may not stay with us, they may move on. But keep an eye out at the bird feeders. If you’re going to see one, the feeders is the most likely place.

In our area, Red-breasted Nuthatches are associated with winter. They are considered an irruptive species, some years you see them, others you don’t. These birds leave the far north and follow the food source going only as far south as they need to in order to find food. Typically insects make up the bulk of their diet but they happily take seeds and suet from feeders. The early bad weather in the northeast may have brought these little bundles of energy into our feeders.

Get out and see them now, they may be gone tomorrow.

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