Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sign of An Early Winter?

Sitta canadensis

As I was coming back into the house after doing a little more cleaning up out in the gardens, I noticed this little bird at the small bird bath near the trellis. (I also noticed the bird bath needs cleaning.) The bird didn't look familiar to me and the sound it made didn't either.

I quietly opened the door to the house, slipped in, and quickly got my camera. I zoomed in on it through the window and managed to take just one picture before it flew off. Then I got out my Birds of Ohio book to see if I could identify it.

Page 165 has a photo of a Red-Breasted Nuthatch that looks like my little bird posed for it. I skimmed through the information given ― 4½ inches long, climbs down tree trunks head first, wedges seed in crevice and pounds on it to open it, seen in Ohio only in the winter but some winters not at all.

And I'm seeing this bird NOW? It can't be a sign of things to come, can it? I haven't even seen a woolly worm yet. The leaves haven't started to change. We haven't gotten the first ripe tomato from 'Mr. Stripey' yet. We had the air conditioner running two days ago. The kids just started back to school last week. And now I'm going to have to dust off the snow shovel?

I'm depressed.


Cindy Garber Iverson said...

He may be literally an "early bird"! I was seeing Canadian geese flying south for the winter when I was back in Utah last week and thought the same things you've thought. Maybe it IS going to be an early winter. No, no I mustn't think that... Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Carol Michel said...

We just had a 90+ degree day yesterday, so who can think of winter? Maybe it is just a confused bird?

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Jean said...

Great picture! I sure hope winter isn't on the way yet! Loved your post about your pitchfork and your Grandpa.

Katie said...

We've had interesting weather over the last couple months here in NorCal. But just as I said, "Gee, it's been cool this summer, fall must be around the corner," smack! Right into a heatwave. Don't worry. Summer isn't quite over yet.

And your blinky smiley made me laugh out loud. It was perfect!

Ki said...

The red breasted nuthatch is my favorite bird. The white breasted my second favorite. We have a lot of white breasted here and I can hear them making their characteristic calls daily. I've seen a few red breasted but there are definitely fewer of them. I read somewhere that the nuthatches going down the tree head first is an adaptation to get all the insects the going up the tree woodpeckers miss. ;)

kate smudges said...

I'm with you on that ... I have no desire to dust off the snow shovel (or should I say hunt for it in the garage?)

It is a cute bird ... I like the idea of it heading down trees head first.

Tom Arbour said...


Very nice picture of the red-breasted nuthatch. Irruptions of these species are pretty interesting. They are very beautiful birds.


Kylee Baumle said...

Thanks, Tom. So is it still called an irruption if it happens in summer?

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