Anyone have White Breasted Nuthatches nest in their birdhouse before?

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  • #1403
    Donna in WI
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    So last night I observed this (see videos below) at one of my nest boxes in the yard. I have never had the nuthatches show any interest in the houses before so not sure if they will actually use it or not. Curious of how they handle monitoring if any of you know? I am not holding my breath here about them actually nesting though as the Tree Swallows have returned in force and are swarming everything so not sure if the Nuthatches will defend the box or not. I saw them out there earlier this morning but not again now. Hopefully the Flickr videos will work ok for you…..

    Pair of Nuthatches at nest box…
    MVI_4774

    Nuthatch sweeping behavior at nest box…
    MVI_4775

    Donna in WI

    #1412
    dogsandbirds
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    I have never had WBNU but right now I am once again hosting BHNU. They tolerate monitoring quite well but do like to scold. You have to be careful of the wind when you open the box because the nest is usually made of bits of thin tree bark. A super calm day is best. The other thing they do with those little bits of bark is “calk” ALL of the seams of the box. You can see the calking from the outside once they have started the nest. Very cool.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1416
    Donna in WI
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    I did take a very quick peek in the box tonight when I didn’t notice them around. It was windy so I barely opened the box, I just needed to see if anything was in there. She had an inch or more of stuff, didn’t open it far enough to see what the stuff was but there is definitely a nest! Yeah! From what I am reading it is not very common for White Breasted Nuthatches to nest in a birdhouse so this is pretty cool. She was in the box most of the day, would peek out here and there and sit at the hole. Never saw her bring anything in at all so I am really not sure if the nest is done or what, didn’t look for a nestcup since I barely opened it and closed it pretty quickly too. Not sure if the WBNH do the caulking thing or not, I hadn’t read that on them, just the sweeping. I know red breasted nuthatches spread pine sap around the hole of their cavity to deter other birds and predators.

    Donna in WI

    #1417
    tamsea
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    How exciting for both of you! I’ve never had a nuthatch, period.

    Tammy

    #1421
    Donna in WI
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    I know Tammy, isn’t it cool! Hopefully they have a successful nesting. Last year I had a Nuthatch taking mealworms away each day, I am assuming to its young somewhere. Would be cool if being they are nesting here if they bring their little ones to the feeder. Not sure if that will happen or not though but I do know they love mealworms. Had a Chickadee checking out a nestbox today, hoping they take that one too as it is the most easily watched from the house. Still haven’t seen nor heard any Bluebirds around yet.

    Donna in WI

    #1423
    Donna in WI
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    Gin Brown headed nuthatches would be so cool. We don’t have them around here. We often have red breasted nuthatches at our feeders and trying to nest in dead trees in our woods but they always seem to fail. Darn red-bellied woodpeckers pretty much ruin all natural cavity nestings around here it seems.

    Donna in WI

    #1424
    tamsea
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    We don’t have BHNU here either.

    Tammy

    #1448
    dogsandbirds
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    BHNU really are the cutest little things. Every nest I have seen didn’t have a true cup, just a slight depression in the middle. The “nest” isn’t usually more than an inch or two deep.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1452
    tamsea
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    Aww.

    Tammy

    #1460
    Love my blues!
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    Wow! So neat!

    Nicole :wow:

    #1461
    Donna in WI
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    Well we have egg/s! I watched her yesterday and all morning she was poking her head out of the entrance hole and he was feeding her. Afternoon, didn’t see her again. It was the same the day before so I thought I bet she is laying eggs in there already! So early evening I went out and looked, nest is pretty shallow like you said about your nuthatches Gin. I thought I could see an egg slightly through the nesting material, felt it lightly and yep there as an egg. There might have been two, not sure. Everything was covered like a chickadee almost except no blanket, like she hid it in the nesting material. Will check again in a few days, sounds like they have a pretty decent sized clutch normally.

    Donna in WI

    #1465
    tamsea
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    :birddance: Yeah, we get to live vicariously through you.

    Tammy

    #1470
    ReneeinWinslow
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    Lucky you. I have never even seen a WBNU even take a peek into the hole of a nest box here. But there are plenty of natural cavities for them to choose from. Good luck with your nesting.

    When The New Wears Off The Old Shines Through.

    #1492
    dogsandbirds
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    Yay! Eggs!

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1496
    Donna in WI
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    It is interesting having these Nuthatches. I had to add a baffle to this birdhouse today, only one that has never had Bluebirds or Dees in and last one of mine to baffle. I have been observing that she is in the house all morning and I don’t see her in the afternoon but I hadn’t been checking until early evening and she has never been there. I went to put the baffle on around 3PM and made lots of quiet noises walking up to the box, nothing, so I assumed she was not in there. Hadn’t seen her peeking at all. Got the duct tape on the pole and was putting the metal plumbers tape on to hold the cap and out she flew. I was standing behind the box but dang she scared me. She scolded me for a bit and then left. I tried to hurry as much as I could. Since she as gone I decided to look again and see if I could see how many eggs there were. Nope she has them all buried in the nest, I didn’t try to feel around at all, figured once she starts incubating I can get a count. It is interesting that they hide the eggs like Chickadees. However it is even more interesting to see how much she stays in the box. I see her peeking out the entire morning and him feeding her and she isn’t done laying yet. Most birds lay their eggs and then go about their day and don’t stay in the box/cavity. 3PM and she was still in that box! Hopefully she isn’t an afternoon egg layer, don’t want to think I disturbed that!

    Here she was this morning….and I have to add, I was walking up slowly as I didn’t want to flush her out of the box. I was about 30 feet from the box when she must have gotten uncomfortable and she just ducked back in, never flew away, just went back in the box.
    IMG_5096a

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Donna in WI.

    Donna in WI

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