2021—White-Breasted Nuthatch

Sax-Zim Bog in Minnesota is a bird-lover’s paradise. If you wait patiently near one of the many feeders throughout the massive area, most of which are maintained by volunteers, you will be rewarded with views and possibly photographs of some of the many species that visit the area, some on their migratory journey to their nesting territory but others, like this White-breasted Nuthatch, are year-round inhabitants. At mid-day Wednesday, I stood near one of the stations in the place noted on the Sax-Zim Bog map as Loretta’ Feeders. Most of the visitors while I was there were small, fast moving Black-Capped Chickadees. But this White-breasted Nuthatch made just one brief visit to the feeders. I watched it grab some seeds from the feeder, then scurry down to the snow-covered ground. I realized there was a small tree near by so I focused on that tree trunk hoping that the Nuthatch would do its characteristic down-facing stance on the trunk. When it did, I was ready and I managed to capture just the gesture I wanted. The bird’s sharp back claw, that helps it cling to bark in its down-facing stance, is visible.