Page 9 - June 2, 2021
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{ 8 }  SNJ Today  |  JUNE 2, 2021                                                                                     JUNE 2, 2021  |   { 9 }
       Fast Facts on                        Eggs: They typically lay 5–8 eggs                         RAMPARTS BOOT
       White-breasted Nuthatch            (3–10 eggs possible).
                                            Number of broods: Typically/seem-
          Nest style: They are cavity nesters,   ingly 1.
       often making use of old woodpecker   Incubation: 12 days, both female
       holes but also performing limited   and male incubate the eggs.
       excavation themselves.               Fledging: Leave nest in two weeks’
          Nesting responsibility: Both female   time.                             SUPPORTING
       and male prepare nest and care for   Food: Young rely on insects, adults
       young.                             primarily insects; larvae, ants, stink-    OUR
          Nesting materials: Bark, lichen,   bugs, click beetles and spiders. They
       fur/hair,                          eat seeds including acorns, hawthorn,      MILITARY
          Mating: They are monogamous     sunflower, and grain from crops.
       and will pair beyond mating season.

      nuthatches’ delivery headquarters? Oaks   share a similar flight pattern with wood-
      support 534 species of butterflies and moths   peckers—an undulating flight, a burst of
      and 29 species of birds. Acorns feed numer-  rapid wing beats, then tucking their wings
      ous animals, including squirrels, deer, mice,   tight to their body on each undulation, thus
      turkeys, ducks, and jays. So these nuthatch-  pumping their way through the air. They do
 TOP LEFT: Young chick takes what appears  es are nesting right in the middle of a food   not use their tails propped against trees like
 to be a piece of lichen from its father. Note  court, a true bonanza. There are caterpillars   woodpeckers. These behavioral characteris-
 the pointy beak and black cap of the male.  galore for their chicks, and seeds in the fall   tics help to make identification distinctions
      and winter.                         in the field when lighting is poor or quick
 ABOVE: Female descends a tree trunk   Sadly oaks, a top supporter of wildlife,   glimpses are the norm.
 holding a moth caterpillar that is camou-  are in severe decline. There are 50 percent   White-breasted nuthatches are very typi-
 flaged by the bark background. Note the   fewer oaks in eastern forests than there   cally found in a mixed-species flock outside
 steely gray blue back and black collar.
      were 100 years ago. The clearing of land   of breeding season, forming in late summer.
      for development, the harvesting of cord-  There have been many studies of mixed
      wood, and disease—all imperil our oaks.   flocks and their purpose. The most common
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      These trees are so important that there is   assumption is that there are more eyes to   Layaway  Available   •  Gif t C ertifica  tes
      an expression among naturalists: “When is   look out for predators. Additionally, by gath-
                                                                                                      arry Men’
                                                                                                                    s Sizes 5–17
                                                                                                  e C
      the best time to plant an oak? One hundred   ering with other species, each type doesn’t   We Carry Men’s Sizes 5–17
      years ago but today may have to do.”   have as many competitors for the same food

       This pair of white-breasted nuthatch   resource or preference. There are also more   Women’s Sizes 4–13 • Children’s Sizes 0 & up
      transfers most food with a specific routine.   seekers to find food sources. Furthermore,   Orthopedic & Diabetic Shoes  •  Shoe R epair  •  Shoe Dyeing
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      The adult flies onto the trunk of an oak tree   some birds, like titmice and chickadees, are
                                                                                                  VE         C
      about two feet from the box, descends head   especially good sentinels, alerting others   CLIP & SAVE         COUPON
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      first, hops onto the roof, surveys the sur-  to danger. In fact in observations where
      roundings, and then flits onto the opening   titmice are not present, nuthatch are more   $  00
      of the door before entering. Nuthatches   wary and less likely to visit feeders. The tit-           OFF
      maneuver on a tree’s trunk, creeping head-  mouse seems to be instrumental in forming
      first, upwards and sideways. However their   flocks and its constant leaping and hovering   $25 or more
      preference in surveying for food is to work a   assists in scaring out insect resources. Three   Not to be combined with any other offer. Expires 6/30/21.
      tree’s trunk from top down, unlike a brown   commonly cited companions in a flock
      creeper that will only work upwards. Not   including nuthatch are chickadees, titmice,                    CLIP & SA   VE         C OUPON
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      only do they survey and capture their meal,   and woodpeckers.
      but they will also hide seeds in the bark,   I reflect on the little faces that peered out            $               00
      covering them with lichen, moss, or snow.   at me as I investigated their delivery box.                                        OFF
      Their name is derived from their opening of   And I think about how they will be gone in
      seeds, or “hatching” the nut.       a day or two. And like so many people be-                                  $100 or more
       The white- and also red-breasted   fore me I marvel at the wonders of nature
      nuthatches are cavity nesters. The white-  and of flight. n                                          Not to be combined with any other offer. Expires 6/30/21.
      breasted nuthatch has a marked preference
      for deciduous forests whereas the red-  Sources
      breasted tends toward conifer habitat. In   Entomologist Doug Tallamy’s writings and
      the northeastern United States we see red-  talks
      breasted in deciduous forests as well. These   Cornell – All About Birds
      birds have a distinctive straight bill much   The Birders Handbook, P. Ehrlich, D.   639 Landis A ve.  • V ineland
      like woodpeckers and they perform limited   Dobkin, D. Wheye               856-691-1180 •
      excavation of cavities for nesting. They   Lawrence Kilham, c. mid 1960s
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