The Cleansing Nuthatch

I don't know why, but for some reason I'm have an overwhelming desire to seek out every republican in North America and have my picture taken with them...and I'm not even a republican, I'm not a democrat either but that's neither here nor there. Actually, I do know why, when someone I don't know starts to tell me what I should and shouldn't do and when I should be ashamed of myself, it immediately triggers a rebellion inside and I want to do the exact opposite.

So, I think it's time to embrace the red-breasted nuthatch:

Look at the nuthatch, breathe in the nuthatch. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. I had a gorgeous morning over at Carpenter Nature Center. The temperatures were cool, the sun was shining, and there was not the overwhelming sounds of the state fair. Ahhhhhhh.

It wasn't as busy as last week, but there were still lots of migrants moving through. Everywhere we went you could see flocks of birds flitting around. We got some warblers in the nets like the Nashville warbler above and a Tennessee warblers. I think we banded five red-eyed vireos and I got a video of one being released. With some birds, when you let them go, you can lay them flat on their backs and they sit for a moment before taking off. That's what happens to the vireo when I let it go in the video below:

And since you can't really see the brown eye so well in the video, here is a photo:

Red-eyed vireos don't get their red eyes until they are an adult. So the brown eyes on this bird tell us that it was hatched this summer. Here's an adult red-eyed vireo that we've banded in the past, you can really see the red eyes on that bird. FYI - for an insectivore, this bird really can bite.

Here is a typical male American goldfinch. This is a bird we banded awhile ago, but I want you to get a good look at what the face should look like. Now, take a gander at this male goldfinch:

Yikes! What happened to this guy? I'm not really sure. I banded this one and I couldn't see any mites running around on its head so I don't think that was it. I wondered if maybe it was an odd molting pattern. I asked Jen who works at Carpenter and she wondered if it had gotten its feathers worn off from a bird feeder or something else?

It was missing feathers on both sides of his bill, so it does seem to be a uniform pattern. The bird was molting elsewhere on his body, so it is possible that this is just a weird molt pattern. I'll be curious to see if we get this bird in the nets again.

And now, let's close with the cleansing nuthatch. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, see the nuthatch, breathe out, be the nuthatch, breathe in, love the nuthatch, breathe out, hang upside down on a tree trunk like a nuthatch...