Red-breasted Nuthatch

1/800s at f8.0, ISO:800, Canon Mark IV 1D w/800mm, x1.4 coverter

The Red-breasted Nuthatch, is a small songbird. It breeds in coniferous forests across Canada, Alaska and the northeastern and western United States. Though often a permanent resident, it regularly irrupts further south if its food supply fails. It forages on the trunks and large branches of trees, often descending headfirst, sometimes catching insects in flight. It does eat mainly insects and seeds, especially from conifers. It excavates a nest in dead wood, often close to the ground, smearing the entrance to their nest with pitch. Like all nuthatches, the Red-breasted Nuthatch is an acrobatic species, hitching itself up and down tree trunks and branches. Unlike woodpeckers and creepers, it does not use its tail as a prop while climbing. It tends to be found singly or in pairs, and forages from low to high on tree trunks and branches. The Red-breasted Nuthatch, like all nuthatches, is monogamous. It excavates its own cavity nest, taking one to eight weeks to do so and smears sap around the entrance hole, presumably to help deter predators. The female lays 2 to 8 eggs, which are white, creamy or pinkish, and covered with reddish-brown speckles; and are incubated for 12 to 13 days.
Rocky Mountain N.P. CO