Thursday, February 16, 2017

A bird in hand

Last week Shara stayed home sick from work one day.  While home, she heard a big thump on one of the windows at the back of our house.  A thump like that usually means that a bird has flown into one of the windows.  She grabbed her camera and went outside expecting to find a dead bird - unfortunately many birds are killed by the impact of flying into a window.

Instead, she found a very dazed, but still alive White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis).

Female White-breasted nuthatch - note frosted black cap, upturned bill, slate blue wings and back, and chestnut flanks.  It's really worth it to click on the picture and see all the details of the feathers.
She picked up the bird and held it for a few minutes while it recovered its senses.  It did not seem to have any permanent damage so once it was alert she placed it atop the rabbit hutch in our backyard and went back inside.  When she checked on it a few minuted later, it had flown away.

This nuthatch appears to be a female, based on the frosted black cap - males have a dark black cap.  Another interesting feature that you don't always notice is the patch chestnut colored feathers on its belly and flank.  An adult White-breasted Nuthatch measures about 5 - 5.5 inches (13 - 14 cm) from beak to tail, with a an 8 - 10.5 inch (20 -27 cm) wingspan.  They weigh between 0.6 and 1.1 ounces (18 - 30 grams) or about as much as 3 to 5 quarters.

1 comment:

  1. Glad she was ok. Must have been kind of neat to hold one. I always see them on our feeders,--they're quite tame, but they don't want to be held.....