Monday, February 7, 2011

White-breasted Nuthatch 2

One usually thinks of White-breasted Nuthatches as up-side-down feeders on tree trunks.  Occasionally they are found on the ground, especially if attracted by bird seed or corn. White-breasted Nuthatches don't excavate their own nests.  They use either natural cavities or those made by other birds (especially woodpeckers) or other animals.  My colleagues, Eric Liknes and David Swanson, discovered a White-breasted Nuthatch breeding in a rock cavity in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  This type of nest was unknown for this species.  Only Old World Eastern and Western Rock Nuthatches and occasionally Eurasian Nuthatches nest in rock cavities (Liknes and Swanson 2002, South Dakota Bird Notes 54:61-66).

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