Date: 4/15/18 10:06 am
From: Juliet Berger <juliet.berger...>
Subject: [birders] Even during an ice storm, Male Nuthatch feeds his mate
This weather has me indoors, feeder watching. A (smaller) male
White-breasted Nuthatch came repeatedly to my mealworm feeder, selected
one, and fed it to a much larger (though still dark-headed) female,on a
tree trunk, while she quivered her wings like a juvenile, but with slightly
less gusto! This was cool to watch. Apparently he will courtship feed her
while she is the egg laying period and sometimes while she is incubating
the eggs, after the full clutch is laid. I did some research, and some
female White-breasted Nuthatches, perhaps the more mature ones, and the
southern belles, have a head as dark as the male. I was confused there for
a minute, since they both looked like males and it is way too early for
young to be out and about. Also, males will not tolerate another nearby
male, unless it were their own young.

Good (indoor) birding,

Juliet Berger

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