Wednesday, October 10, 2007

First Blast of Fall!

I got a surprise today with a new visitor to my backyard. At first, from a distance, I thought it was one of the many Carolina Chickadees that are always at the feeders in the afternoon.

Then, it turned on the peanut feeder and faced down, in the typical Nuthatch posture. I've seen a White Breasted Nuthatch before, up on Brush Mountain, but it is a much bigger bird. This Nuthatch was much smaller than the White Breasted Nuthatch. The White Breasted Nuthatch is about 6" in length compared to only 4 1/2" for the Red Breasted Nuthatch. Also, notice that it has a dark eye line and a white eyebrow. The White Breasted Nuthatch has an all white face and breast.

The red breast is definitely noticeable and shows up. I believe this one to be a female Red Breasted Nuthatch. On the males, the rust colored underparts extend further up the neck.

Arkansas is in the winter range for the Red Breasted Nuthatch so this little blast of cooler weather appears to be causing a little movement. I'm excited!


Matt said...

Karl you know everything!

Larry said...

We've had a little irruption of RB-Nuthatches in Connecticut this year. A great little bird to watch.
Congratulations on your new yard bird!They are feistly little birds.Hope it hangs around for you.


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