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RED BREASTED NUTHATCH - Species Profile
This tiny tree-climbing bird has a bluegray back with buff or reddish brown chest and belly. It has a black stripe through the eye and white stripe above the eye.
HABITATThe cultivation of ornamental conifers has helped the northern native Red Breasted Nuthatch gradually migrate southward. It lives on the insect-populated trunks and limbs of conifers, moving up and down. Suburban or rural woods or mixture of trees and open space.
NESTINGNESTBOX: 4x4"-5x5", 1 1/8 to 1.5" Hole
The Red Breasted Nuthatch frequently excavates its own hole in soft, partially rotted wood. It sometimes will take up residence in a prepared nestbox. You might add some sawdust in the box to attract them.
FOODThe Nuthatch eats insects and seeds of conifers. It often stores food in the crevices of rough bark. They can be attracted to eat suet, mixed suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts and peanut butter.
WATERProvide a water source close to the ground, but away from bushes that can hide predators such as cats. Have small trees close for easy lookouts and preening before and after their bath and water break.
COVERSmall bushes in the grassland provide cover from overhead hawks and other predators. Brushpiles are also handy for many small birds who must take cover from predators.
INTERESTING TIDBITSNuthatches hop along tree trunks and branches searching for food. The frequently travel in small flocks.
Nuthatches store food in the bard of trees for winter dining, but they also stuff food into the wood around their nestbox for breeding time. The female is fed this food while she in incubating or fed to the developing fledglings. For this reason, consider adding a bark covered "predator guard" to the normal Western Red Cedar nestbox. Nestboxes with a generous 4x4" cavity will house Nuthatches, as well as the following cavity nesters. Species-specific predator guards help prevent large predatory birds, snakes, raccoons and other predators from raiding the nests.
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