Red-breasted Nuthatch


There is a narrow strip of bushes and trees in front of my building and the apartments next door. I see gray squirrels and birds like house sparrows, black-capped chickadees, and crows there all the time, but usually nothing out of the ordinary.

So imagine my surprise when I pulled into a parking space one August day last year and saw this red-breasted nuthatch clinging to a tree close to my car. I was thrilled because it was not only my first nuthatch sighting, but I serendipitously had my camera with me.

Red-breasted nuthatches are common year-round residents in Western Washington, but they tend to prefer more woodsy settings than what’s found on my suburban north Seattle street full of condos and apartments. They are neat little birds because they frequently cling to tree trunks upside down, as you see above.

In the second photo you can see he has a seed or bug in his beak. (A seed I think.) They feed on both, but prefer small insects.





2 thoughts on “Red-breasted Nuthatch

  1. Wonderful captures! Nuthatches are hard to catch up with. I love these little birds, especially in the early fall when they can be heard making their nasally “nyak nyak nyak.” To me, it’s the sound of the arrival of the glorious season of fall. I love that you captured one upside down!


    • Sounds like they’re old friends of yours. Lucky! I’ve only seen one other since then, and didn’t get a useable photo the second time. (Was too far away in the woods at a park.) I didn’t hear anything either time, so hopefully I’ll get another chance in the future and it will nyak at me. 🙂


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