[CT Birds] Red-breasted Nuthatch implications

Christopher Loscalzo closcalz at optonline.net
Wed Aug 22 19:50:01 EDT 2012

There have been several reports of Red-breasted Nuthatches being seen in CT
in the past week or two.  This is early for them to arrive from the north.
I have observed such early fall movements of this species several times in
the past few decades (the first time a memorable one in the mid-70s, in my
youth) and have often wondered if they presage a winter finch irruption for
the coming winter.  There is logic to this idea, of course, as it may be a
poor pine cone seed crop that prompts them to leave their breeding grounds
early.  I haven't researched the topic, but I wonder if there is data to
support the idea that an early movement of RB Nuthatches is followed by good
numbers of Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls.  I seem to recall, though, that
the last time RBNuthatches came to CT early, their numbers were not
impressive in the winter, suggesting, perhaps, that they continued on to
more southern wintering grounds such as the Appalachian Mountains.  Food (or
nuts) for thought.


Chris Loscalzo,


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