Red-breasted nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Though it’s cold and dreary much of the time these days, it turns out that even in January, there’s good reason to be outdoors here on Gabriola Island right now. The light is lasting a tiny bit longer with each passing day, crocus and daffodils are starting to push up, and birds like this Red-breasted nuthatch can easily be found for the looking.

It’s unusual to see a nuthatch sitting so still. Usually this species is in constant motion, scrambling head-first down, then back up conifer trunks to glean seeds and insects that other birds have missed – or darting quickly away to consume its find in private.

Perhaps this individual was simply enjoying a bit of winter sun, or maybe it was taking advantage of what the late author Ruth Stout called winter’s “longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.” Either way, it was kind of the bird to sit still long enough to allow me to make this photo.

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

6 responses »

  1. What a fabulous post, Laurie! I was just noticing the light lingering longer in the day and showing up a tad bit earlier in the morning, and it’s got my creative side chomping at the bit to get behind the shutter! Love your post here with your thoughts, and the photograph is absolutely fan-flippin-tastic!

    • Thanks so much, Toad! The photo was a lucky one: we were on a walk in the forest and almost didn’t spot this nuthatch, sitting so still! Luckily there was just enough light to make the image, as I didn’t have my tripod with me. Nice when it works! Happy new year to you and Mrs. Toad.

  2. Sherry Galey says:

    Or maybe he was getting ready for his close-up? 😉 Lovely image, Laurie! I’m glad to hear you are savoring these days and that the crocus and daffodils are starting to push up. How wonderful.

  3. ehpem says:

    What a considerate, and beautiful, nuthatch. They are among my favourite small birds, along with the bush tits.

    • Thanks, ehpem! I love nuthatches too. Another very sweet small bird species we have right now is the golden crowned kinglet – lots of them about. But they seem to be in even more constant motion than nuthatches, so I doubt I will manage a photo of them!

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