Archive for April, 2011

Active Little Ruffians

April 10, 2011

I spent some time today watching the birdfeeder. The camera was mounted on a tripod and I was ready. The Red-Breasted Nuthatches (Sitta canadensis) were quite busy grabbing food and defending THEIR feeder.

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Whenever other birds approached the feeder the nuthatches were quite diligent in chasing them away. They especially had a thing about the chicadees and chased them back into the nearby forest. I also had a nuthatch leave the feeder and circle my head a couple of times when I walked too close. While at the feeder, the nuthatches sent seed flying while searching for a special morsel.

Nuthatch sending seed flying

It usually did not take long for the nuthatches to find the particular seed they sought. This particular fellow chose a sunflower seed. He flew off with it to a nearby hickory where he broke into the seed – yummm!

Nuthatch with a sunflower seed

The birds that seemed to be most successful with the nuthatches were the Chipping Sparrows (Spizella passerina). The sparrows would move in quickly while the nuthatches flew off with their seeds, quickly grabbed a seed, and took off before attack ensued. The sparrows also discovered the treasure trove of seed on the ground. The Dark-Eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) seemed willing to share the grounded seeds as long as the sparrows kept their distance.

Chipping Sparrow