January 4, 2017 – Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)

These nuthatches are found throughout the United States and much of southern Canada. They eat mostly insects during the summer, switching to conifer seeds in the winter, which they sometimes cache earlier in the year. Pairs excavate nest cavities, often in aspen trees, with females doing more of the excavation work while males bring them food. They line the cavities with grass, bark, pine needles, fur, and feathers. Both parents apply conifer resin around the entrance to the nests, sometimes using strips of bark to carry the sap. This probably helps to protect the nest from predators or competing birds.


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