About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

White-breasted Nuthatch defending food with cobra dance

Get to know your birds before the Great Backyard Birdcount (#GBBC)

I use the Wild Birds Unlimited Peanut Butter Suet and this week I've had a White-breasted Nuthatch defending the food against all others with a fascinating wing dance! ~ Lansing, MI

Thank you for sharing your observations!

White-breasted nuthatches are small birds that can often be spotted climbing up and down the trunks of trees. Their black and white body and long bills make them easy to identify. Their bills are nearly as long as their heads and White-breasted nuthatches have black crowns on their heads, with white cheeks and white undersides.

They are found year-round in Michigan and do not migrate. In the winter it’s not unusual for a group of mixed species to fly together for protection and to forage for food. But even though these birds work together to survive there are still scuffles and fights to determine hierarchy.

Sometimes it’s based on size; the larger Hairy Woodpeckers are more dominant over the smaller Downy Woodpecker which is more dominant than the White-breasted Nuthatch, which can be more dominant then the titmouse which is always more dominant than the chickadee. The White-breasted Nuthatch’s scary “cobra dance” defends the food form other less dominant birds and animals.

And as you have found out, it is easy to attract the White-breasted Nuthatches to your yard, with a suet or peanut feeder as well as our Wild Birds Unlimited seed cylinders.
Related Articles:
- Bird Guilds: How different birds band together to survive http://goo.gl/d0VzDD
- Bird of the week: Red-breasted Nuthatch http://bit.ly/sXqKVH
- Fascinating Nuthatch Bill-Sweeping & Wing Fanning http://bit.ly/s4MWlV
- Facts every backyard birder wants know about Nuthatches http://bit.ly/tBbDbQ
- Black and white bird walking upside down on a tree trunk http://goo.gl/RUCT6O

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