“They creep up, down, and sideways without regard for which way is up,” reports AllAboutBirds.org about the Red-breasted Nuthatch, and this jaunty slow-motion video from Lesley the Bird Nerd provides the perfect example.
Look for them among spruce, fir, pine, hemlock, larch, and western red cedar as well as around aspens and poplars. In northeastern North America you can also find them in forests of oak, hickory, maple, birch, and other deciduous trees…
In summer, Red-breasted Nuthatches eat mainly insects and other arthropods such as beetles, caterpillars, spiders, ants, and earwigs, and they raise their nestlings on these foods. In fall and winter they tend to eat conifer seeds, including seeds they cached earlier in the year… They also eat from feeders, taking peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet…
When moving downward they typically zigzag, keeping their grip by relying on the large claw on their one backward-pointing toe on each foot. Red-breasted Nuthatches are aggressive birds that sometimes dominate larger birds at feeders. Nuthatches are among the few non-woodpeckers that excavate their own nest cavities from solid wood.
Previously from Lesley: A Lot About Blue Jays. Plus:
• How to make a Wildlife Camera (using a Raspberry Pi)
• The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird Song Hero
• A blue-and-white flycatcher bathes in a Japanese bird bath
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