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.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Michigan Nutcracker

White-breasted Nuthatch outside Wild Birds Unlimited store
Nifty and Nimble Nuthatches!
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Nuthatches are named for their habit of cracking nuts open with their bill and wedging them into a crevices for future use. They are very easy backyard birds to identify. If you see a bird creeping downward on a tree, it’s a nuthatch. It’s the only species that can walk down a tree. It needs no tail support because it has incredibly strong feet!

Most nuthatches visit feeders in ones and twos. Pairs generally live in a territory of 10 to 30 acres looking for seeds and insects found in trees, or hiding seeds from feeders in tree bark for a snack later in the day or breakfast the next morning.

Red-breasted and White-breasted nuthatches are the most common visitors to feeders in Michigan. They are feisty birds that announce their presence with calls that sounds like a nasal laugh. They enjoy suet, sunflower seeds, nuts, mealworms or seed cylinders.
Pygmy Nuthatches live in ponderosa forests in the West and survive the bitter winter nights by roosting with 50 to 100 or more other Pygmy Nuthatches in tree cavities. With so many birds in the cavity, they stay warm and can lower their metabolic rate to conserve energy.

Another species, Brown-headed Nuthatches, live primarily in the Southeast United States in mature pine forests. These birds live in flocks, although they do not have the “sleepovers” the Pygmy Nuthatches have.

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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