This fall my daughter and I were lucky enough to visit my sister-in-law and niece up in Payson, Arizona. We had a great time, good fun, and of course, as always with Jane, good food! She always makes everything look so effortless!
One of my favorite things about the weekend was all the wildlife. Sitting on the front or back porch gave us many opportunities to do some birdwatching.
The white-breasted nuthatch was particularly fun to watch and photograph.
A common feeder bird with clean black, gray, and white markings, White-breasted Nuthatches are active, agile little birds with an appetite for insects and large, meaty seeds. They get their common name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to “hatch” out the seed from the inside. White-breasted Nuthatches may be small but their voices are loud, and often their insistent nasal yammering will lead you right to them.
White-breasted Nuthatches are gray-blue on the back, with a frosty white face and underparts. The black or gray cap and neck frame the face and make it look like this bird is wearing a hood. The lower belly and under the tail are often chestnut.
White-breasted Nuthatches are agile birds that creep along trunks and large branches, probing into bark furrows with their straight, pointed bills. Like other nuthatches, they often turn sideways and upside down on vertical surfaces as they forage. They don’t lean against their tails the way woodpeckers do.
If you see a White-breasted Nuthatch making lots of quick trips to and from your feeder – too many for it to be eating them all – it may be storing the seeds for later in the winter, by wedging them into furrows in the bark of nearby trees.
The oldest known White-breasted Nuthatch was 9 years 10 months old.
If you would like to learn more about the Nuthatch check out this bird website for more fun facts… All About Birds
It was a great time for the birdwatcher in me! Come back soon for more photos of our weekend in Payson.
Until next day, LAF
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