Saturday, February 11, 2012

Nuthatch Love

Chickadees are cute and fun to watch, but you know what bird I really enjoy visiting my feeders? Yup, it's the nuthatch! They're not too common in my backyard, not enough trees I guess, but I have 1 nuthatch who visits fairly regularly and sometimes a second nuthatch comes along to check out the feeders. On the weekends when I'm home, I turn on my outside speaker to hear the birds chirping and that's how I know the nuthatch has arrived -- I can hear its squeaky little chirps and "yanks" as it searches for peanuts in the birdfeeders. Let's watch......

Hey, this feeder looks like it's full of peanuts!

Wow, from this perspective all's I can see is peanuts! Is that for me?

Dang! That's a tight squeeze! Must. Get. Peanut!!
Finally got it! Making sure I don't drop this peanut.....

Let's go & find a quieter spot to enjoy this peanut -- the paparazzi's making me nervous!

In addition to feeding shelled peanuts, I put out a birdseed blend that contains peanuts and sunflower hearts in a couple different feeders. This little seed ball that my dear friend Lynne gave me works great for this seed blend and accomodates only the clinging birdies -- nuthatches included!

The Yankee Tipper is where nuthatch usually heads first at feeding time -- four ports in which to search for peanuts!

Years ago when I worked at Wild Birds Unlimited, we once had a customer come in and asked us to help him identify a bird that was coming to his feeder -- obviously new to birding, the best way he could describe it was that it looked like a "miniature bluejay." After several minutes of questions about the bird's habits and more description, we finally showed him picture of a nuthatch and he said, "yeah, that's it!"

Miniature Bluejay? Really??
(I guess that's an honest, novice birding mistake.....)


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I love them too- especially Red-breasted Nuthatches!

My word verification is "blograt"!!

Mama Pea said...

We usually have a lot of Nuthatches (right along with the Chickadees) but we've noticed they are pretty scarce this winter. Wonder what's going on? We miss seeing the little guys.

RuthieJ said...

LOL Lynne!
No red-breasted nuthatches at all down here this winter..... :-(

Hmmmm, Mama Pea, haven't heard anything either. Do you think the open winter's making it easier for them to find food in the woods? Or maybe it's just another wild bird species in decline..... (hope not!)

Kelly said...

I have nuthatch love too. Their calls always make me stop and listen!

eileeninmd said...

Cute captures of the nuthatches and the jay. I love that cute round feeder. Great shots, have a wonderful weekend!

KGMom said...

Great pics that tell a story.
And I can actually see the "miniature" bluejay. Just encourage someone who cares enough about a bird to try to ID it.

We have had a few nuthatches, but not as many as chickadees. SO I will stick with the cheeky chickadees as favorites. Now, if nuthatches started visiting in droves...well, I might have to change.

Gaelyn said...

Well they both love peanuts.

I see the nuthatches at the North Rim.

dAwN said...

Lucky Birds! I love that round feeder from Lynee.

Mollie said...

Great photo story! I love it that you have outside speakers to catch the birdsong. And I too like that round feeder--hmm, have a sister with a birthday coming up, ... and she lives in a mostly rural area, feeds the wildlife. Can't have too many birdfeeders, can you?! Hope you're doing well, Ruthie! Have you been following Chet Baker's blog? Poor Mether is in South Africa and is sick. The "voice" of Chet is such a kick.

Lisa said...

Hi Ruthie~ I love your photos and your stories! We have lots of nuthatches at our feeders here in SC and I love to watch them run up and down the trees face first...errr beak first! Our land is heavily wooded with hardwood trees. Love your feeders too....and peanuts. That looks fun to watch....I think we might need to try that. Thanks for sharing. I always get so many great ideas from you! Lisa

troutbirder said...

I did see some of the red breasted variety up a Sax Zim. But whatevery type they are cute. :)

RuthieJ said...

You're right about that Kelly -- I usually hear them before I see them.

Thank you Eileen.

Thanks Donna. It's hard for me to remember far enough back to when I was a beginning birder......

Hi Gaelyn, do you see the Pygmy Nuthatch out there too? I checked my field guide and it looks like you probably have the other two that we do also: Red-Breasted & White-Breasted.

I (and my birds) love it too Dawn!

Thanks Mollie. My outside speaker is one of the best things I've ever invested in -- even if I'm not at the window, I can hear when my favorite birdy visitors arrive!

Thanks Lisa. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I agree Ray, they are all cute. I got some great shots of a Red-Breasted during the Sax-Zim Winter Birding festival and they will be featured in an upcoming blog post (still in my camera yet though.....)