Friday, February 4, 2011

White-breasted Nuthatch 1

White-breasted Nuthatches, upside-down birds that often spark an interest in birds by nonbirders, are common in Minnesota woodlands.  Surprisingly, this species' biology is not well known.  One reason is that their nesting cavities tend to be difficult to study. Pairs hold permanent territories throughout the year.  They also hoard large amounts of food, caching it, one item at a time, throughout their territory.  Western and northern populations show migratory or irruptive movements, but little or nothing is known about the details of these journeys (Grubb and Pravosudov 2008). White-breasted Nuthatches that I have banded in South Dakota and Minnesota seem to remain in the vicinity of my banding stations. I photographed this male White-breasted Nuthatch at the River Bend Nature Center in Fairibault, Minnesota.  It conveniently posed in front of a snow bank, allowing for the white background.

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