Nuthatches are active, agile little birds with an appetite for insects and large, meaty seeds. They get their common name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to “hatch” out the seed from the inside. White-breasted Nuthatches may be small but their voices are loud, and often their insistent nasal yammering will lead you right to them.
- Nuthatches prefer to reside in open, mature pine trees.
- Their diet switches from insects and spiders in the summer to sunflower seeds and suet in the winter.
- In its search for insects nuthatches will use “tools” such as bark to pry off larger pieces of bark.
- They will often store seeds for retrieval later in the same day or as a quick source of food for the next morning.
- Nuthatches are often observed creeping headfirst down tree trunks and poles.
- Nuthatches roost in a communal group which may contain up to 100 birds.
- They can stay in their roost cavity for up to 40 hours without feeding. This enables them to survive winter storms.