Red-breasted-Nuthatch-3cRed Breasted Nuthatch

Birds: Nuthatch

Wham! The large pane glass shook as the object struck. Too soft to be a golf ball, which often hits the house from the adjacent links course. Yet too loud to be good for what hit the window. Looking out the door window, the home owner spotted a nuthatch face down on the front porch. It’s wing was jammed to the side and it’s legs were spread in a full split. The birds head was on it’s side also, but it’s left eye was twitching.

Going out to inspect, the bird was still alive. He picked it up and it’s toes clasped his index finger. Putting his hands around it’s body, the bird gently put it’s wings in alignment. Bringing the bird into the house, it’s pulse was going at about 150 beats a minute, or twice human pulse. It seemed shivering so the bird did not struggle, but seemed to calm down in his palm.

He stared at the bird intently. It’s eye stripe and buff breast were darker than he had expected. It was also smaller as his fingers stroked into the feathers. He could feel it’s body outline. It was so light!

After about three minutes, though, it’s eyes were apparently seeing clearly and it’s wings started to flutter.

Taking the bird outside and he opened his hand and balanced it on his palm. The bird stepped and then stood still, clasping his index and ring fingers. Slowly, he lowered his hand down to the porch table. He gently nudged to bird to the new perch. It reluctantly released his fingers and plopped down on the bench, sitting on its rump.  Still dazed, it looked only straight ahead.


Slowly, the Nuthatch regained it’s feet, moved it’s head from side to side and re-calibrated it’s bearings. Off it flew to the nearby Shore Pine, in the front yard. Somewhat less stunned, but still alive. It wings flapped in a frenzy and away it flew to find a safe spot to recover from this collision.  Hope it makes it.

Lesson: Put bird warning symbols (hawk silhouettes) on windows, even if the windows are small.

Other Nuthatch’s in North America:


Pygmy Nuthatch


White-Breasted Nuthatch

Other Nuthatch’s in SE Asia:


Blue-Eyed Nuthatch


Yellow-Billed Nuthatch


Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch


Sulfur-Billed Nuthatch (Stijer De Win)

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