Notes about Nuthatches
I developed Mert’s character on the behavior of a nuthatch. As I wrote this story, I did research on the habits of nuthatches and talked with some bird watchers. Here are some interesting facts about these wonderful little birds.
Nuthatches find everything they need in trees. They drink the water trapped in leaves and pinecones and eat bugs and seeds found in their tree homes. Nuthatches are the only birds that hide seeds under tree bark. Nuthatch families live in holes hollowed out by bugs, weather, or woodpeckers. Most nuthatches prefer to live in pine trees.
Nuthatches help each other. Older siblings will often help their parents care for newly hatched babies. When nuthatches are cold they snuggle together for warmth. A biologist has seen about 100 nuthatches squeeze together in a hole in a tree on a cold winter day.
Walking up or down doesn’t matter to nuthatches. They walk upside down or sideways on tree trunks or branches to get where they want to go.
Most nuthatch families like to stay home for the winter. They travel south only when food is scarce. Young birds, such as Mert, explore new territories to find food and friends.
Do you want to see a nuthatch? Put big fat seeds, peanuts and peanut butter in your bird feeder to attract new bird friends! You can find nuthatches in North America from Canada to Mexico.
On the Internet, http://www.allaboutbirds.org is a good site where you can learn more about nuthatches.