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Natural Connections

Jan 26, 2023

White-breasted nuthatches weigh more than twice their little cousins, the red-breasted nuthatches. More handsome than cute, their black head grading into a gray back and mostly white belly is quite natty.

Beyond size and color, these two cousins have some interesting similarities and differences. They both eat mostly insects in the summer, and feed insects to their chicks as well. Both find those bugs by clinging to tree bark with their super strong feet and long claws, and moving headfirst down the trunk. Their short tail stays out of the way.

This behavior is thought to give nuthatches a different perspective than the woodpeckers and brown creepers who they often feed near.