Instead, starlings and squirrels have used these oversized bird houses for nesting. Lately, a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches have decided that one of the boxes suits them well enough to move in. From the window over my kitchen sink, I watch them bringing bark shreds and other nesting material into the box. The male, especially in the early morning, declares his home ownership by an upside-down, wind-up toy sort of territorial dance, all the while sweeping his bill in wide arcs. They are a very cute couple. I call them the McNuttys.
For staying home and keeping me company throughout the winter, I reward them with suet cakes. Handouts of black oil seeds and peanuts are regular menu items. They are loyal customers.
|White-breasted nuthatches have moved into this box, intended for screech owls.|
|The female will lay from three to ten eggs. One brood per year.|
|The bird on the roof is delivering a beakful of bark shreds.|
|It seems like a rather large house for such a small bird.|
|He is about to take off for the lunch counter.|
|The lunch counter. He uses take-out and will likely bring some home to Mrs. McNutty.|