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 Amy Law

Amy Law is a science geek. She feels about science the way some people feel about music, or art, or sports – a total and complete emotional connection. She thinks in science. For Amy, there’s nothing better than helping people see the beauty of science as she does. She loves to untangle a complicated subject into its parts, explaining it so that anybody can understand what’s happening. Let her show you her world...
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2 Responses 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!

  2. Pingback: Cold Weather Birds | Colorado In Depth and At Altitude

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