Red-breasted Nuthatch at an Idaho Nesting Site

/, Clark County, Idaho, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Targhee National Forest/Red-breasted Nuthatch at an Idaho Nesting Site

Calling Red-breasted Nuthatch maleCalling Red-breasted Nuthatch male – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I was looking through some images I took last year in the Targhee National Forest in Idaho at the “Magical Sapsucker Tree” and realized that I need to spend more time in the woods if I want to photograph more woodland birds. I used to get creepers and nuthatches and tons of woodpeckers in my yard in Virginia but I lived out in the country with woods surrounding me. I also spent far more time in my yard and garden than I do now too.

I realized I had previously only posted three images of these Red-breasted Nuthatches from my time at the aspen that was such a great nesting tree for several species.

Red-breasted Nuthatch at a nesting treeRed-breasted Nuthatch at a nesting tree – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I can’t say for certain that the nuthatches ever nested in the tree prior to last year but this male sure was curious about the cavities and all the other bird activity at the aspen last spring. I bet their young are adorable though and I would like to see them feeding their young and watching them fledge.

It is a shame that some thoughtless person or people chopped down that tree last year. Many birds lost out on using that great nesting tree.

A Red-breasted Nuthatch clinging to an AspenA Red-breasted Nuthatch clinging to an Aspen – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Maybe this year I will be able to find another nesting tree as busy as the one in these images, I hope so. I’d love more images of Red-breasted Nuthatches and all the other cavity nesting birds I saw at that tree. Seeing and photographing this Red-breasted Nuthatch was such a thrill for me that I want a repeat performance!

Life is good.



  1. Charlotte (Prairie Birder) February 22, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    It’s too bad the tree was chopped down, but it’s very nice you got these excellent photos.

  2. Molly February 22, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    The second photo looks so perfect, like photo-realism, ironically. Lovely, clean shot.

  3. Elephant's Child February 22, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Just beautiful.
    Like Patty the destruction of that tree haunts me.

  4. Patty Chadwick February 22, 2016 at 8:30 am

    How did you get such high contrast between the strong light on the tree and the daek background? ( I still think about the senseless, tragic destruction of that tree and the moron that destroyed it) and wish them the worst….

  5. Patty Chadwick February 22, 2016 at 8:26 am

    How great to see images of these tiny, intetesting little birds!!! We had at least one of them two or three winters ago…had never see them before…was surprised at how tiny they were…and unafraid. I’m hoping to see them, again.

  6. Bob McPherson February 22, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Beautiful images Mia.

  7. Liz Cormack February 22, 2016 at 7:15 am

    We used to have red-breasted nuthatches in the Niagara (Canada) area in winter. They were so cute & cheeky. We haven’t seen them for about 3 winters now. I really miss them.

  8. Sharon Constant February 22, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Beautiful images. I know how awful it is to see a great nesting tree cut down. Our local governments are currently decimating Redwood Regional Parks in the name of fire prevention. In some areas it’s almost clear cutting. Breaks my heart to think of all the nesting areas they are demolishing. I guess our local government’s idea of a park is a big green lawn.

    • Utahbooklover February 22, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Good example of local government not always being the wisest. To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees,” President Theodore Roosevelt once said. And now we know many trees are more healthy when they have closeby neighbors of the same species.

  9. pennypinchadventure Tim Traver February 22, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Such a treat to see your photos everyday! Red-breasted nuthatch is a real rarity at our feeders in winter but this year we’ve had one visiting off and on all winter (Vermont).

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