This is MY Turf

Brown-headed NuthatchMating season means it’s time to stake out your territory.

This morning I was standing under the large Japanese Maple in our front yard waiting to take a photo of the Eastern Bluebirds who are moving into a bird house close by.  I was standing right next to the trunk hoping to be indistinguishable from the tree.

Brown-headed NuthatchTwo Brown-headed Nuthatches landed in the tree and began being very vocal and hopping around a lot.  They were less than  six feet away from me at times and completely oblivious to my presence.  All of a sudden there was much commotion and I lost them both.

Then there was a racket and much squabbling, and when I looked down the two were on the ground very close to me grappling with each other.  You could speculate that they were mating, but most likely it was a fight over territory.  It’s hard to tell male from female Brown-headed Nuthatches based on appearance, so this provided no clues.  Take a look at these photos and see what you think.

Looking back on it, I think all of the movement in the tree was posturing.  The fact that they were unaffected by my presence suggests that they had much more important issues to deal with.

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