January 22, 2016 – Pygmy Nuthatch (Sitta pygmaea)

Requested by: @gepwin

These tiny nuthatches are found in ponderosa pine forests of western North America. Eating insects and seeds, they pick their prey from pine needles and cracks in tree bark. They also cache seeds all year, wedging them under bark or into crevices to save them for later. One of the few nuthatch species that breeds cooperatively, male relatives often assist breeding pairs, defending the nest and gathering food. On cold nights they huddle together in tree cavities, dropping their body temperature into controlled hypothermia. Sometimes roosting in groups of over 100 birds, they are the only North American bird to use these strategies together.