August White-breasted Nuthatches: I photographed the female, above, on the 25th, the male, below, on the next day. You can tell the females from the males by the females' gray crown, which is black on the male.
White-breasted Nuthatches are common across most of North America, and south through western Mexico. Most beginning birders recognize nutchatches. The birds often forage upside-down on tree trunks. All year, and especially in the winter, they visit feeders. They collect seeds, nuts, and suet, caching food, one item at a time, across their territories.
These nuthatches are usually permanent residents. In some years, however, some individuals of northern and western populations,move out of their breeding range. Ornithologists do not know what causes these birds to wander or if they ever return to their areas of hatching (Grubb and Pravosudov 2008). This uncertainty makes banding White-breasted Nuthatches all the more worthwhile.