Nuthatches pairing up


We’ve had a couple of red-breasted nuthatches coming to our bird baths up on Green Mountain this week. I’ve

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Male red-breasted nuthatch

always enjoyed nuthatches because they remind me of darts that have been thrown really hard.

After doing some research, I learned that you can tell males from females because males have black stripes on their heads, while those on a female are grey. They evidently stay in pairs all year round, but that the pairs can change at any time.

But nesting season is coming up quickly — they can start digging out holes in trees as early as the end of March, with egg-laying starting in mid-April.

These perky little birds eat bugs under the bark of trees during breeding season, and seeds any other time. You can recognize an insect-hunting

female red-breased nuthatch

Female red-breasted nuthatch

nuthatch instantly because they come down the tree trunk head first.

Red-breasted nuthatches don’t migrate, so with any luck, these guys will build a nest somewhere close by and stick around for the summer.

 

About coloradogeography

Amy Law is a second-generation Coloradoan with a passion for her native state. This translated into a Master’s degree in Natural Resources from Colorado State University, and continues as a lifelong fascination with how people and nature interact. From family vacations in the station wagon to travel for work, she's covered the state, and everywhere she goes, she finds new things to see and ideas to explore.
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One Response to Nuthatches pairing up

  1. Tracy Abell says:

    I love these guys! I had some creeping down our pine tree the other day. The cats and I were fascinated!

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