The folks in the Riverwalk Bird Club don't just watch birds. The group includes some excellent photographers.
Nooga.com Outdoors is happy to share their great photos by featuring a Bird of the Week.
This week, we feature a white-breasted nuthatch, taken by Tim Jeffers.
—These agile little birds get their common name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to “hatch” out the seed from the inside. White-breasted nuthatches may be small, but their voices are loud, and often, their insistent nasal yammering will lead you right to them.
—The white-breasted nuthatch is normally territorial throughout the year, with pairs staying together. The male has to spend more time looking out for predators when he’s alone than while he’s with his mate. That’s the pattern for most birds and one reason why birds spend so much time in flocks. But the female nuthatch has to put up with the male pushing her aside from foraging sites, so she spends more time looking around (for him) when he’s around than when she is alone.
—In winter, white-breasted nuthatches join foraging flocks led by chickadees or titmice, perhaps partly because it makes food easier to find and partly because more birds can keep an eye out for predators. One study found that when titmice were removed from a flock, nuthatches were more wary and less willing to visit exposed birdfeeders.
—If you see a white-breasted nuthatch making lots of quick trips to and from your feeder—too many for it to be eating them all—it may be storing the seeds for later in the winter by wedging them into furrows in the bark of nearby trees.
—The oldest known white-breasted nuthatch was 9 years, 10 months old.
This information is courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.