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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Nov 8, 2012

Nuthatch behavior and changing weather

Tuesday Dawn melt
Tuesday morning almost all of the snow had melted due to warming temperatures.  It felt like spring.  The birds however seemed to know that would change, as they were frantically flitting from one perch to the next in search of food. More so than usual, and members of the nuthatch family most specifically.

Nuthatches are often difficult to spot, but although they are quite active they are not usually as hyperactive as say a Kinglet or Chickadee.  Yet Tuesday morning their frantic foraging made them both more visible and more difficult to capture on camera. They seemed to be everywhere from the tree tops to the forest floor and  they moved at a speed that beat my shutter, which is set pretty high, so that I ended up with very few decent captures.  I began to wonder what was going on, as this certainly was not any behavior I had observed before in Nuthatches. 

Red-breasted Nuthatch
White breasted nuthatch
Brown Creeper

The speediest of them all was the Brown Creeper, who I have only observed in the past as moving at a pace that could best be termed leisurely. 

In fact, this nuthatch, below, was seeking a place to store food.  I watched him for several minutes, as he moved up and down the tree trunk, and finally hammered the food into place.

Seeking a place to store food
I went home slightly puzzled and couldn't get the behavior of these birds off my mind.  There had to be a reason, but I knew I would eventually figure it out.

Wednesday morning

As it happens I didn't have to.  Wednesday morning brought the answer, in the form of heavy snowfall and windy conditions, which lasted all day and well into the night.  Conditions such as these would most certainly make it much more difficult for birds to forage for, and find food.


1 comment:

  1. Susan, I've noticed nehavior like you have described prior to snow storms and hurricane/tropical events. Birds have such amazing instincts!