Red-breasted Nuthatch pair cpatured by Z 9 / 800f5.6 AFS

The Ranch is a hotbed of sex right now with seven birdhouses with nesting Red-breasted Nuthatches and one with White-breasted Nuthatch. This pair of Red-breasted drilled out (the video at the top of the landing page) a cavity in the dead log I planted for just that reason a couple of years back. Being home for long stretches, I’ve been afforded time just watching the activity as it unfolds. This morning the White-breasted were doing a display flight for nearly thirty minutes. No clue what that was about but they both seem to be loving it. And then yesterday, I saw this.

The drilling was being done by the female, never saw the male take part in the drilling. But the male would come in every so often and from a distance would seem to be kissing the female. I put glass on the tree trunk to see what he was actually doing was feeding her. There must have been a hatch of spiders somewhere because he just fed her spiders. As you can see, she (female lower bird) would after he offered her the bug, would come up and grab it. The half dozen times I watched, she would tear the spider, which was still squirming, in half. It must have worked because they seem to be in their cavity and I assume in the process of laying eggs. mtc

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