Friday, 22 April 2016

The McNutty House

Many years ago, I constructed two nest boxes suitable for Screech-owls. Except for this past winter, the owls have been using the boxes but only for winter daytime roosting and for storing food items, never for brooding.

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.


  1. This is like a McDonald's Fly-in" for takeaways!!! Lovely house, and a sure sign you have spring at your place.

  2. you sure do make some nice bird houses....ours are just boxes with a roof with overhang...hope we get some birds in it. Right now there is a nest of Carolina Wrens living behind a light on the camper/carhauler...

  3. Aren't they wonderful? Spring is here!

  4. I just love your McNutty couple (and hopefully family). I have these little guys at my feeders too but have no idea where they nest. You are so kind to them and of course your enjoyment of them is obvious. Lovely pictures as always.


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