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I’ve Got Red Breasted Nuthatches!

First Time In Almost Ten Years

While this may be an everyday occurrence for many of you, I have not had a red breasted nuthatch since I started feeding birds almost 10 years ago! I’ve had an occasional white breasted nuthatch and they are supposed to be numerous as close as Knoxville but this is my first ever red breasted nuthatch.

They are shown in my Stokes Guide as being here in winter but I’ve also read that they generally stay more north of me when the pine cone production is adequate. Apparently, the really mild winter most folks had and the extremely warm summer has affected cone production to a point where they are moving farther south. I was so thrilled when I saw the first one and even more so when I learned they weren’t alone or just passing through. They’ve been working on my newly placed Brome Squirrel Buster feeder and couldn’t be happier. They are absolutely the sweetest little things. Their chirp is almost exactly like their white breasted cousins and they scale down the trees head first just like them.

Got Him On Video

Here is a short video I took free hand. Sorry if it’s a bit jumpy. They just appeared and I had to get them before I could get my tripod. I kept the part where the titmouse chases him off briefly because I love titmice. In case you’re curious, this was shot with a Sony Handycam DCR-SX44. I’ve had this little camera for over a year and have been really pleased with it. No, it’s not HD but it does have a 60X optical zoom, a lot of software bells and whistles, great looking shot ability and a price tag under $200.00.

What about you? Have you had any new migrants to your backyard this year? Leave a comment below and tell us about them.


Here is an Audubon.org post that discusses why more birders are seeing nuthatches and other birds as far south as the gulf coast: Audubon Issues Winter Bird Warning

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