Which way is up? Bird feeding orientation

Here are some pictures of the birds that like suet and peanuts, mostly those that naturally make much of their living getting insects out of tree bark.

I’m not sure why, perhaps some people who know more about it can comment, but they differ in their preferred orientation while feeding.

The nuthatches prefer heads-down, at 180º from my preferred feeding orientation.

White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch

Chickadees seem more sensible to me.

Chickadee
Chickadee

The small woodpeckers are often the “right way” up, but as the level goes down, they switch to a horizontal orientation.

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

The rose-breasted nuthatches are also upside-down feeders but here are shots as they get ready for dinner; nuthatches at least land the right-way up, before turning over. On trees, they also run downwards after landing. Do they ever crash, beak-first, into upwardly mobile woodpeckers?

Rose-breasted Nuthatch landing
Rose-breasted Nuthatch landing
Rose-breasted Nuthatch
Rose-breasted Nuthatch

It was -27ºC when I got up this morning, but as it was a nice sunny day, the temperature soon soared to -12. So the birds’ feathers were well fluffed-up.

Author: Eric Lawton

Eric is a natural philosopher living in rural Ontario

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *