Red-breasted Nuthatch or Red-bellied Chickadee with a striped head?

red-breasted nuthatch 2
Another irruptive species from the North Woods is the Red-breasted Nuthatch. They are supposed to come south much more frequently than species like the Evening Grosbeak, but I haven't seen one for decades.

red-breasted nuthatch
The Red-headed Nuthatch usually makes it to Massachusetts every other winter. I never saw one in Sharon, though (maybe too south?), and this is the first year I've seen them in Framingham.

white-breasted nuthatch
The two species are so similar in size, shape, and perching behavior that it's seems pretty obvious that they are related. I feel foolish admitting that when I first saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch last month, I was extremely puzzled by what I thought was a red-bellied Chickadee with a striped head!

red breasted nuthatch framingham 10 10
Had I seen it in this typical Nuthatch pose, I probably would have caught on sooner. The Red-breasted is a little stockier than the white-breasted Nuthatch, but they still look remarkably similar.


  1. Great photos of the Nuthatch! Haven't seen one here in CT yet.

  2. Your great photos helped me identify a visitor to my feeder today in New Milford, CT.


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