Pygmy Nuthatch

1/60s at f5.6, ISO:200, Canon Mark II 1Ds w/400mm, 1.4x converter

The Pygmy Nuthatch is a tiny songbird. It ranges from southern British Columbia south through various discontinuous parts of the western U.S. (northwest U.S., Sierra Nevada range, southern Rockies, etc), to central Mexico. It is usually found in pines (especially Ponderosa Pines), Douglas-firs, and other conifers. Pygmy Nuthatches clamber acrobatically in the foliage of these trees, feeding on insects and seeds; less often they creep along limbs or the trunk like bigger nuthatches. Pygmy Nuthatches nest in cavities in dead stubs of conifers, lining the bottom of the cavity with pinecone scales and other soft plant and animal materials. They may fill cracks or crevices around the entrance with fur; the function of this behavior is unknown. The female lays 49 eggs, which are white with fine reddish-brown spotting. She does most of the incubation, which lasts about 16 days. The young leave the nest about 22 days after hatching.
Rocky Mountain N.P., CO