An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide –

White-breasted Nuthatch Winter Roosts

1-7-13 white-breasted nuthatch IMG_4447Birds that remain in New England year round use various strategies to withstand cold winter nights. One such strategy involves choosing a site well-protected from the wind, such as a thick stand of conifers, in which to spend the night. Birds that nest in cavities, such as nuthatches and woodpeckers, often roost in holes as well. White-breasted nuthatches usually roost singly. Occasionally two may share a hole, and as many as 29 have been found in a large tree cavity.

8 responses

  1. Vicki

    a beautiful photo…

    January 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm

  2. 2ducksnamedwalter

    I think it looks like s/he is saying, “Not by the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin!” Your picture is so clear, I can actually see the fuzz on the under- the- beak area! Someday, will you tell us the secrets to your photography? How do you catch something like a little bird who never holds still? What kind of camera do you use? How do you get such great resolution?

    January 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    • Hello jhdown. Your comment made me laugh! Believe me, 9/10’s of the calibre of a photograph is determined by the equipment the photographer is using! That, and some patience! I spend a LOT of time outdoors, and for every photo you see on my blog or in my book, it is safe to assume that I took and deleted several hundred! I use a Canon 7D camera, with either a 100mm macro, a 100-400mm zoom lens, and a 70-200mm lens. Some of the most common creatures, such as a chickadee, are the hardest to photograph, simply because, as you said, they never stand still! Believe me, anyone with my equipment and the luxury of being able to spend a majority of their time outdoors could produce beautiful images.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:55 pm

  3. Cindy

    Hi Mary. Love your blog! How do you stay warm – spending all this time outdoors – I assume sitting still much of the time. Have you build blinds of sorts? Great clothing? Those handwarmer things? What about summer and avoiding ticks? Thanks for any tips! — Cindy

    January 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    • Hi Cindy,
      Actually, I’m not really very patient, and don’t spend a whole lot of time, especially in the winter, sitting still. Mostly I’m on snowshoes, and living in Vermont, I am always climbing up and down hills which keeps me plenty warm. If anything, I find I have too many layers on a lot of the time! As for ticks, I’m still working on them. I pick them off and out of myself all summer long. My latest find was some herbal (lemongrass, among other things) concoction that I put on my pants, shirt, etc. I finally broke down and purchased pants and top that are supposedly insect proof, but I’m not sure about ticks. Hopefully they will come up with something foolproof pretty soon (for dogs as well as humans!) I removed 25 ticks after one excursion last summer. Sorry not to have more helpful tips!

      January 11, 2013 at 5:05 pm

  4. Sondra Gingery

    Hello Mary, I’ve been enjoying your blog so much. I really appreciate that you’ve chosen to share your photos and information. They really give me a great deal of enjoyment. I am a quilter and like to do applique. I made a small quilt based on your White Breasted Nuthatch photo, but now I have the opportunity to enter the quilt in a local show, and don’t want to do it without having your permission to use your image. If you’d like, I will send a photo of the quilt to you. I didn’t know any better way to contact you other than this.

    March 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm

  5. Bunny Goodwin

    I have not received a Naturally Curious blog post in a while. Am I unsubscribed or is the author on vacation?

    Bunny Goodwin

    July 30, 2013 at 11:39 am

    • Hi Bunny,
      You must be unsubscribed, as I haven’t been on vacation!

      July 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm

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