Nuthatches are a very tame winter visitor to home feeders in South Dakota,
although they can also be found year-round in the Black Hills. They will
often ignore a human presence just a few feet away as they visit a feeder.
Winter numbers vary greatly from year to year. They can migrate very early
in the fall, often already arriving by September (as with the bird in the photo
to the right).
Habitat: Nearly always found in conifer-dominated
forests during the nesting season. They will utilize all forest habitats
during migration and in winter, and are also often found in urban settings.
Diet: Primarily insects in the summer, many seeds
in the winter.
Behavior: Feeds by clambering along the trunks and
branches of trees. They will use crevices in tree bark as a seed
cache, storing seeds for later retrieval.
Nesting: May through July
Migration: Red-breasted Nuthatches are permanent
residents in much of Canada and the mountains of the western United States.
Numbers and distribution in the rest of the United States vary greatly in
winter from year to year.
Feeders: Sunflower seeds and
Conservation Status: Populations are generally stable, with
some indications of increases in summer breeding range.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Red-breasted Nuthatch"
Photo Information: September 7th, 2007 - Newton Hills
State Park - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Red-breasted Nuthatch photos.