Red-breasted Nuthatch Near My Bird Feeder

By | April 26, 2017

I photographed this Red-breasted Nuthatch on a limb that I have on my bird feeder. This bird would come and grab a sunflower seed out of the feeder and then it would fly up in a tree to break it open. This is done quickly, so it is difficult to get a photo I like. I got lucky on this day because the feeder was full of Finches and this Nuthatch had to land on the limb to wait for an opening to get a seed.

These birds are fun to watch because they like moving around trees, often descending head first. I would hear this one coming to my feeder before I would see it. It has a high-pitched nasal sound.

Red-breasted Nuthatch On A Limb

Red-breasted Nuthatch (Arkansas) – Canon 7D2 | Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L v2 Lens | @400mm | 1/800 | f/6.3 | ISO 800

Here are a few more photos of a Red-breasted Nuthatch that I have photographed over the years:

Red-breasted Nuthatch
Thirsty Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch Facts

This nuthatch’s call is high-pitched, nasal and weak. Transcribed as yenk or ink, they have been likened to a toy tin horn or a child’s noisemaker. Its song is a slowly repeated series of clear, nasal, rising notes, transcribed as een een een.

Like all nuthatches, the red-breasted nuthatch is an acrobatic species, hitching itself up and down tree trunks and branches to look for food. It goes headfirst when climbing down. It can “walk” on the underside of branches. Unlike woodpeckers and creepers, it does not use its tail as a prop while climbing. It tends to forage singly or in pairs.

The red-breasted nuthatch’s diet changes depending on the season. In the summer, it eats mostly insects, occasionally even fly-catching, while in the winter, it switches to conifer seeds. At feeders it will take sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and suet. It often wedges food pieces in bark crevices to break them up with the bill (as opposed to holding the food in their feet, like the black-capped chickadee does).

More facts found on Wikipedia.

Author: Steve Creek

An Arkansas-based wildlife photographer specializing in the wildlife found in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Steve’s images are created from his overwhelming passion for being outdoors with cameras in tow.

2 thoughts on “Red-breasted Nuthatch Near My Bird Feeder

  1. Greg Topp

    I sit on my porch when the weather is nice and watch these little guys come and go with their seeds. And then, sadly, it is back to winter weather again today and tomorrow. My Eastern Febee (Flycatcher bird) came back to last years nest a week or so ago and is working on improvements. The doe with two fawns and the extra adopted fawn from last summer hung with each other all winter and are now coming into my yard regularly. It is good to see all this!

    1. Steve Creek Post author

      Cool weather here in Arkansas also for the next few days. You seem to be living in a great place to be able to see what you see from your porch.

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