Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)

Red-breasted Nuthatch Searching for Food 

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a bird in the Nuthatches Family (Sittidae) of order Passeriformes, genus Sitta and species canadensis. There are about two dozen species of nuthatches. This bird usually clings to trees rather than perch on them as shown in the photographs. Notice the relatively long, sharp claws that allow them to climb up and down the vertical parts of trees in search of food. They eat insects and seeds and prefer conifer seeds. They are very common around French Hill Pond.

The mature Red-breasted Nuthatch is between four to five inches (10 to 13 centimeters) long even smaller than a sparrow. Its upper parts are blue-gray to almost black. The breast is a rusty red. The top if its head is black. The eyebrow is white. It has a distinctive black line through the eyes. The Red-breasted Nuthatch may be confused with the Chickadee but the latter bird has a completely black head and lighter under parts. Another distinctive characteristic of the Red-breasted Nuthatch is that it likes to descend tree trunks head first.

The Red-breasted Nuthatch builds a nest in the cavity of a tree made of twigs and grass and lined with a soft material like plant fluff. The female lays about a half dozen white eggs with reddish brown spots.

 

Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

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