Chickadee and Nuthatch

We seem to be in a quiet time for bird sightings. And the weather has been unsettled after a relatively mild winter. In fact, I worked on this post during our latest nor’easter that is turning out to be the biggest snowfall of the winter. So I haven’t had as many photography opportunities as I would like. But our local residents have not let me down. We spotted some Black-capped Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches that were flitting around in a stand of evergreen trees looking for some tasty seeds on a recent walk. These little birds are very active and it can be tough to catch them sitting still for even a brief moment.

All Nuthatches normally creep down tree trunks upside down or along the underside of tree limbs. The ones who come to my feeders always orient themselves head down. This may be an adaptation that enables them to find food that other birds miss. I photographed this Red-breasted Nuthatch on the ground in a less common horizontal position while poking through pine cones that had fallen under the trees.

Chickadees just do whatever they find necessary to get a tidbit. They will hang upside down as easily as hop around on the ground like this one. Other birds seem to follow Chickadees around, knowing that these smart birds are good at finding and caching food. They are known for having an excellent memory for finding all the food caches they make to sustain them during the hard winter months.

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