Red-breasted Nuthatch in the Targhee National Forest, Idaho

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Red-breasted Nuthatch in the Targhee National ForestRed-breasted Nuthatch in the Targhee National Forest – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 500, DX mode, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I’m posting just a simple Red-breasted Nuthatch image today that I photographed earlier this week in the Targhee National Forest in eastern Idaho. This nuthatch and its mate hung around the sapsucker nesting tree and I loved hearing their calls echoing in the aspens and conifers in the area.

Both the male and female excavate nesting cavities but usually the female does more of the work. Red-breasted Nuthatches place sticky resin around the nesting cavities entrance, the male places it on the outside and the female on the inside. It is thought that the resin is placed there to keep out predators or competitors for the nesting cavity. This pair seemed intent on taking over the new nesting cavity that the male Williamson’s Sapsucker was excavating.

Red-breasted Nuthatches are tiny at only 4.3 inches in length and weighing only 0.3-0.5 ounces.

I’ll be interested to see if they will still be hanging around the aspen nesting cavity tree the next time I head up that way.

Life is good.



  1. Pierre May 9, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    How can you get such amazing photos of small birds with the monstrously-sized lens you use? It is surely a testament to your abilities as a birder and photographer!!!

  2. Elephant's Child May 8, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Stunning. Thank you.

  3. Utahbooklover May 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Great image. Even the calls remind me of the Chickadee but not as common here.

  4. Patty Chadwick May 8, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I LOVE these Tiny birds! We’re lucky if we see them some winters at our feeders…I think they’re even smaller than our Chickadees! Saw one last Winter, but not this most recent one…

  5. Susan Stone May 8, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Beautiful portrait. I had never seen one of these until I was visiting my sister in Portland OR a few weeks ago. Nuthatches are always fun birds to watch (I’m very familiar with the White-breasted and Brown-headed varieties).

  6. Nancy Collins May 8, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Great photo of this endearing bird! One of my favs too!

  7. wendy chapman May 8, 2015 at 5:27 am

    A favorite bird for me too. So small and appealing. I hope you are able to photograph a family this year. I would love to see a baby. Lovely image.

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