You usually hear the characteristic “tinhorn” yank yank call of the Red-breasted Nuthatch before you see the bird.
This species famously climbs head downward on tree trunks, distinguishing itself from the much drabber Brown Creeper, which climbs up.
The species is found across the United States and Canada, wherever there are spruce of fir trees, its preferred habitat. In Alaska, it’s common in southcentral and southeast, but uncommon in the interior and accidental further north and west.
Unlike chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches rarely use nest boxes or existing cavities. In the winter, they join mixed flocks to forage, and are enthusiastic visitors to birdfeeders.
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