Birds of Reston, Virginia: White-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

blue-gray White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) on a tree trunk in reston Virginia

Nuthatches are not woodpeckers, though they eat a similar diet of insects gathered from tree bark, along with nuts and seeds. They also hop around a lot like woodpeckers—probably more so. This inspired me to invent a game called “Find the White-Breasted Nuthatch.” Read the post to play.

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Birds of Reston, Virginia: Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) and friends

yellow-bellied sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius on tree trunk in reston virginia

It was well below freezing today. I went outside with every bit of skin covered except for the area right around my eyes, since seeing is useful. But it was still a good day for birding. I saw three new species for me—a yellow-bellied sapsucker, a Carolina wren, and a northern mockingbird—and also a pileated woodpecker, which I’ve seen before but never at home. Read more …