Red-Breasted Nuthatches are friendly little songbirds. They are 4 1/2 inches long with a blueish- grey back and pale orange belly. They have a black stripe over their eye, a white eyebrow and a thin grey slightly upturned bill. The male has a shiny black stripe on his head, whereas the female’s is pale grey.
Red-Breasted Nuthatches can be found year round in all Canadian provinces. They prefer coniferous trees but will also reside in mixed woods. These little nuthatches will run quickly down tree trunks. They have an enlarged hind toe and short stubby tail. Their toe gives them secure fitting to move in every direction on trees. Many people call them the ‘upside-down bird’. Red-breasted Nuthatches will perch on tree branches more than White-Breasted Nuthatches.
Their nest is shaped like a small cup made with twigs, small roots, feathers, hair and fur. They prefer to build their nest in a natural cavity or tree crevice 4 to 15 metres above ground. These nuthatches have also been known to use a small nest box. Their eggs are 2 cm long, white in colour with reddish-brown spots. Red-Breasted Nuthatches lay 4 to 7 eggs and incubate them for 12 days.
It’s easy to attract these birds to your backyard. They will readily go to feeders offering peanuts, sunflower or suet. Red-Breasted Nuthatches travel in pairs or small groups. Their flight is short and bouncy. If you hear a high ank-ank-ank sound in your garden be sure to look for these little birds.
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Bird of the week – Red Breasted Nuthatches – check out nuthatches products
Author – Jane Paradis