A Red-breasted Nuthatch perches near a bird feeding station in Danbury, Conn., Oct. 2016.
Here’s the latest For the Birds column, which runs weekly in The Hour (Norwalk, Conn.), The Keene (NH) Sentinel and several Connecticut weekly newspapers.
I wrote three weeks ago about my affinity for the nuthatches we see in New England.
In the middle and southern parts of the region we see white-breasted nuthatches much more frequently than its smaller cousin, the red-breasted nuthatch. The latter variety, however, is seen more often in the northern reaches of New England.
The red-breasted nuthatch does show up at feeders in the middle and southern parts, especially in fall and winter, but not too often and in varying degrees depending on the year. In fact, the little birds will venture all the way to Florida during winter migration.
With that said, I was happy to receive an email from Dean a few days after that column appeared.
“You mentioned red-breasted nuthatches, which reminded me that I have not seen one in years,” Dean wrote from his Marlborough, Conn., home. “They are such cute little birds. Then two days after your article what shows up but an RBN at the feeder.”
A few days after Dean wrote me that email, I was sitting on my deck watching my feeders. It was an unending flurry of black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice, white-breasted nuthatches and downy woodpeckers. I got so tuned into seeing those species that it didn’t immediately register in my brain that a new arrival had appeared.