Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nuthatches--Red and White Breasted

During this very cold weather keeping the bird feeders and suet feeders full makes a big difference for the birds.

We have both Red Breasted and White Breasted Nuthatches coming to our feeders several times every day.  These are the only birds we see that go down tree trunks head first.  Brown Creepers do as well but are seen less often.

The Red Breasted Nuthatch is smaller, seems in more of a hurry, and has a slightly upcurved beak, as you can see in this picture I took today. I turned the picture upside down because it is hard to compare the two birds when one is facing down
This is a female White Breasted Nuthatch, determined by the crown color.  The male would have a jet black crown instead of the grayish crown this bird has.

The White Breasted Nuthatch often also eats seeds from the feeder, but I have never seen the Red Breasted eating seeds.

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