Backyard Bird of the Month for November: White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatches are one of the most charismatic backyard birds. They frequently visit feeders, digging through the seeds and tossing aside undesirable selections until they find a good one. They will often take seeds away and cache them in crevices of trees to save for later. They will also wedge large nuts like acorns into bark crevices and hammer them open with their beaks; this is where the name “nuthatch” comes from.  Away from feeders, they forage actively on tree trunks and branches for invertebrates like caterpillars and weevils. They often descend tree trunks head-first, unlike woodpeckers, and will hang upside down on branches to search for insects.

Backyard Bird of the Month is a feature by Maine Audubon created for the Maine Home Garden News, the newsletter of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Garden and Yard