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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Brown-Headed Nuthatches

One of my favorite bird visitors are brown-headed nuthatches. They're probably one of the gutsier birds in our yard, despite their small stature. Although most birds take off when I open the back door, these little guys don't mind feeding even when I'm scarcely 3 feet away. Quick little fliers that never alight anywhere for long, they're somewhat difficult to photograph. Here's our local trio on their favorite feeder, tolerating a lone goldfinch.

Brown-headed nuthatches are rare in Louisiana, so I consider myself particularly blessed to have them. Their population, so closely tied to our vanishing longleaf pine forests, declines about 2.2% per year. Loss of habitat is their #1 threat & has placed them on Audubon's WatchList.

Brown-headed nuthatches work as a group to support a single nest & are among very few tool-using birds. Our local trio (which showed up last Summer,) have been pecking lately at a dead pine along our driveway, possibly working on a nesting cavity. Nothing would please me more.


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19 comments:

Erik Donald France said...

Sweet. Of course, they're considerably rarer in Detroit :->

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

These are distinctive little birds. Never seen anything like them! Interesting links, too.

Lana Gramlich said...

Erik; *LOL!*

Julie; They sound like little squeak toys, too. So precious.

Charles Gramlich said...

I really do hope they nest. that would be so cool. Love how they go to town on that tree, pecking like micro woodpeckers.

ivan said...

Gotta reinvigorate the swamplands.
Last I heard, Florida was trying to do something with the Everglades.
But Florida now has a quarter of the population of Canada; there are just too many people in too small a space.
We used to attract Cape May Warblers with seed.
The've got to get out of the New England blizzards, and fast, but where are they going to go?

Miladysa said...

Beautiful little birds.

I hope they decide to settle close by.

Lisa said...

Beautiful bird neighbors you have! Nice pictures, Lana!

Sheila said...

haha very cool that you posted about bird watching and i posted about people watching. the birds are lovely where you live. sometimes i like to stare at the birds, but when they wake me up at 7am when i haven't slept all night i want to throw a shoe at them and tell them to fly away and bother someone else.

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; Keep your fingers crossed!

Ivan; There really seem to be no easy answers--at least none that humans would be satisfied with. Personally I tend to think we're going to hell in a hand-basket, but at least I can keep these nuthatches fed.

Miladysa; They're in our yard almost all day every day, so I figure that's a good start, anyway. :)

Lisa; Thank you!

Sheila; I saw your post--too much! I hear you on throwing a shoe, though. Blue jays & crows made for an evil alarm clock when I was in Canada (working freaking nights, no less!)

Travis Erwin said...

I wish I were better at identifying the birds i see around my area.

Lana Gramlich said...

Travis; I've been birding on & off since I was about 8. There are lots of good reference books & field guides out there, of course. Couldn't live without them. :)
BTW, is that a bass in your photo? Nice catch!

Natural Woman said...

wow, i enjoyed that post...thanks for the education. i like to know little tidbits about everything. i'm going to read it again!

Lana Gramlich said...

Natural Woman; I'm very glad you enjoyed it. :)

mon@rch said...

such cute little birds and I hope to see one of these here one of these days!

Tom said...

Lana, very nice shots of the brown headed nuthathch. They've only been spotted a few times in Ohio so thanks for sharing!

Tom

Lana Gramlich said...

Mon@rch; I'll certainly cross my fingers for you. They are a true delight. :)

Tom; Thank you. I hope you'll see some, too.

PetMono said...

We’ll post links to sites that have Wednesday (plus or minus a few days) submissions of their chosen animal artwork. "“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”—Bertolt Brecht

Tommy V said...

great post of the birds

Lana Gramlich said...

Thanks, tommy v! The trio did nest in the tree I mentioned here, fyi. We didn't see them for a while after that, but I've seen one or two returning to our feeders again now. :)

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