Up Close & Personal … The Red-Breasted Nuthatch

28 comments
In my Garden, Musings, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized, Up Close & Personal ...

There are lots and lots of these tiny red-breasted nuthatches in the woods behind our house. How do I know you might wonder? Well, I know because I can hear them calling in their thin nasally voice all day long. For a tiny (4 1/2 inches) bird they sure are noisy!


In one of my bird guides, nuthatches are listed under the “tree climbers”.

And climb they do!!
They climb straight up!
And they climb straight down!
Head first!!

They are quite agile and show off their acrobatic skills at the bird feeders and in the trees. They often sit and watch me refill the suet and bird seed for them. Once I back away, they start to call out for their friends to come join the feast. They are fun to watch and aren’t afraid of me standing right next to them.

Of the three nuthatches in our area, this is the one we see all the time. I’ve never seen the white-breasted nuthatch in our garden during all the years we’ve lived in Portland. We also get the brown creeper. They look exactly like a piece of  tree bark and can be difficult to spot. Perhaps that’s why I’ve only seen one once in the trees behind us.

Do you have nuthatches where you live?

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

28 thoughts on “Up Close & Personal … The Red-Breasted Nuthatch”

  1. These are great shots Sabine … I love his markings – very pretty! I like how you said you fill the feeder and offer suet, then he calls out to his friends. I see and hear that with the jays at the porch. One is the sentry and looks out for the storm door to open, and soon the beautiful song becomes a screech as he calls the other jay(s) to join him.

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  2. Where I live (in the Hudson Valley), the white-breasted nuthatch is one seen daily at the seed feeder.  I do see the red-breasted version occasionally (and often enough to appreciate how well U caught the subtle colors).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The white-breasted nuthatch is fun too! They are supposed to be in the nature park a half mile away, but I’ve never seen one here in over 14 years. We did have them everywhere we ever lived in Northern California. But the red-breasted nuthatch is just as nice to have. This one was just sitting and giving me a chance to really get a good look. He also didn’t look as scraggly as they often do! Thanks for reading and commenting, Mel!

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  3. I had no idea that Nuthatches climb up and down the trees! Thanks for the tidbit of info, Sabine, as well as the great photos! Have a fabulous week!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to share this story Sabine. Last week on the Michigan Metroparks site I follow on Twitter, I saw a few photos that a local photographer had shared to that site. They encourage people to post nature photos from their parks. This woman is a computer tech and a hobby photographer, but her bird pictures are just awesome and her photos are displayed and for sale on her site. Anyway, the photographer saw a Sandhill Crane Mom and her chick (called a “colt”) and a Canada Goose gosling that seemingly has been adopted by the Sandhill Crane. She posted a few pics and now has shared her photography website album. She has adorable photos of the two youngsters together which will melt your heart. So, like the nuthatch story with the male nuthatches helping to raise the brood, now you have a cross-species mother. Enjoy!
    https://jocelynandersonphotographyshop.com/pages/sandhill-crane-family-with-adopted-gosling

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      • I figured you would enjoy it Sabine. Those two babies are just adorable. I hope she will be able to track them as they get older. I liked her photos as well and she is partial to birds as you notice. I follow her on Twitter now and she has videos of her hand-feeding Red-Winged Blackbirds or Red-Bellied Woodpeckers from the palm of her hand … oh my, the beaks on both those birds, but they take their peanut and then fly off. Here is her Twitter address if you’re on Twitter to see the bird feeding videos: https://twitter.com/JocAPhotography

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      • You are not missing anything Sabine – I am on Twitter mostly for the news and weather. I’ve been monitoring our severe weather we are expected to have by following two weathermen on Twitter all evening. They are the top guns at their respective stations, but we had two weather events today – the first was a 45-minute torrential rain for us and worse conditions for the northern suburbs. We now await part two sometime before midnight. Facebook I monitor local nature events at parks and the news. I’m not the most exciting social media user. I love her photos and the latest one with the Mother Sandhill Crane admonishing the gosling for swimming away from her is adorable.

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