Friday, June 11, 2010

Nuthatchin'


Pygmy Nuthatches (above) are one of the most social nuthatches in the world, and most times you won't just see one, you'll probably see 3-10 together. They share roost cavities and also have cooperative breeding. Basically, they form little family groups, with the young from past years helping with stuff like feeding, warning against predators, making cookies, doing the laundry, vacuuming. You know, generally stuff around the roost or nest site. (Other birds that do this are Florida Scrubjays and Acorn Woodpeckers)
(White-breasted Nuthatch above)
White-breasted Nuthatches don't do this and are more solitary. I think they're the most wide spread nuthatch in North America and have a bigger variety of habitat that they use.
(White-breasted above, feeding either female or nestlings)
Both White-breasted and Pygmies are secondary cavity excavators. They'll use old cavities (like an old woodpecker's) that they find and will use it as is or clean it up, make it bigger, etc. (They will also excavate their own cavity).
(Pygmy Nuthatch above)
I don't remember seeing Pygmy Nuthatches in a while and we came across about 4 of them sharing a cavity the other day. They're so tiny it's hard to tell who if any were fledgies. After closer looks, it doesn't look like there were any young, all adults. And all crazy cute.
The White-breasted Nuthatch was feeding either the female or nestlings, not sure which. Probably female since we didn't hear any begging from inside the cavity. Camera Critters Bird Photography Weekly Face of the Week

24 comments:

Pam said...

Nice captures, Jill. Your photos of this wee little Nuthatch are awesome.

You always show me something I have never seen before. Thanks!

ps, someone has a sense of humor, my word verification was (fartora ;)

jason said...

Delightful! Nuthatches are so cool. We mostly just see white-breasted down here in TX. It's so much fun to watch them argue with titmice.

Kitty said...

Very sweet little dears - bright as buttons! Our native nuthatch (UK) has an orange underside, and I've only ever had a fleeting glimpse of one.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

I love the little nuthatches, they are so polite at our feeders, nice captures!

Grace and Bradley said...

I have read that the Nuthatch has the habit of head-first down tree truck. It helps them see insect better. Your photos how just that, thanks for sharing.

A Garden of Threads said...

I love the nuthatches that come to my garden, the red breasted is my favorite. Your photos are wonderful:)

lina@happy family said...

Stunning...love all your photos :)

Snap said...

Jill, how wonderful! A whole lesson on nuthatches with great shots. Thanks and happy Critter Day to you!

holdingmoments said...

Love that first shot, peeping from the nest. :)

Clytie said...

I think I saw a group of them this morning! Now I'm curious and must go get my bird book!

These are such beautiful pictures, you know. That first one made me gasp.

Nikki-ann said...

That's quite a hiding place! Great shots :)

Janie said...

Great captures of these cute little critters. Interesting to learn about their communal nesting.

biobabbler said...

How can anything adult be THAT CUTE?!? (pygmy nuthatch) WOW. =)

Marka said...

Good photos! Your write-up and info is quite informative.

mick said...

Beautiful little birds and your photos are great. I love the one looking out of the tiny nest hole.

dutchbaby said...

Nuthatches always make me smile. Your captures are beautiful, as always!

Steve Borichevsky said...

Pygmes are my favorite nuthatches! We don't get them over here.

cat said...

Absolutely adorable little birds. The cuteness level goes through the roof.
Fantastic captures :)

Sistertex said...

Those are some cute birds! We have nuthatches around here also, but not so tiny. Great face! Thanks so much for participating in 'Face of the Week', I always enjoy your photos! Have a wonderful week and thanks again!

Bob Kaufman said...

Pygmy Nuthatches are perhaps one of the cutest birds in the world and you captured that quality in your photos. Well done!

Michael said...

OMG. I thought Nuthatches were great. I can't understand it when people say they are dull and dumpy. But Pygmy Nuthatches look amazing. Thumbs up from me for this bird. Really like it.

Halcyon said...

What a sweet little guy. I'm not sure if we have any around here, but we do have plenty of wrens and chickadees.

Aksharaa said...

Hi,
lovely pictures you've got there.Those little birdies certainly make interesting Faces!
Enjoyed going through your blog.
Love, A

NatureFootstep said...

lol, I thought that pygme nuthatcher was a chick. Cute ones. :)