Wednesday

The White-Breasted Nuthatch



Many varieties of birds visit us daily here on the bluff... but since we moved here a few years ago.... I have never seen the little White-Breasted Nuthatch make a stop ........... and I miss him.....


Why do we always want what we don't have?




Since they don't venture round my place, I thought I would try a little watercolor, so I can remember them.... I especially loved their unusual and endearing habit of creeping head first, down tree-trunks... then holding their little heads at a 90° angle to have a look around... before continuing on their downward path searching for bugs in the bark... or perhaps seeds or nuts that they had carefully tucked away there for a future snack...




I think I'll put some suet out ... perhaps that may tempt them...


White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis... 5-6"... sparrow sized... blue-gray above..underparts and face white... slightly rusty belly... black crown... beady black eye... small stout tree climbers with strong woodpeckerlike bills.... southern Canada to southern Mexico... deciduous and mixed forests....nasal yank-yank... pairs seem to stay together year-round, for the species may be found in twos even in the dead of winter...



Hang on, little up-side down bird!



approx. 4" x 5" on CP 140 lb. WC paper, water color, brush, crow quill dip pen and india ink.

24 comments:

Sandy said...

I ADORE this!!!!!!!! Can ya tell..

beautiful job Gwen.

I need to start painting birds again.

Angela Rockett said...

Oh, I love this. What a beautiful watercolor. And I love your description of this bird.

Anet said...

Gwen, I just love your watercolors! Do you sell them anywhere, like your jewelry? or do you keep them for your own enjoyment?
We have white breasted nuthatches.
They are so sweet, I love watching them tuck the seeds from the feeder into Sniffy's tree's bark. Now there is a red breasted nuthatch, but I don't think we have those.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Sandy... Your are so sweet... your new header with the little blackbird is adorable!!
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Hi Angela, thanks so much.. I just !love these quirky little birds...
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Anet you're lucky to have those little birds visiting your yard..

I sold a few tiny watercolor sea scapes last year, but I haven't figured how I am going to proceed with the ones I did this year...keep for a collection or sell as I go... hard to know...

Ruth said...

I watch these outside our window, and I've caught a few on the camera hanging from the suet feeder. Maybe you saw one of them on my sidebar a while back. But anyway, they are sweet, and I hope you get them back. Your painting and crow quill and ink is a beautiful, muted nature study.

Sharon said...

Really beautiful painting Gwen!!!!
I don't think anyone could have done it better, especially the delicate ink contours.....you've captured him perfectly. We have both the white and red breasted around here all year and in abundance. I've tried snapping pictures of them but their habit of landing just long enough to pick up a seed before returning to the trees makes it difficult...

I walked outside the other day to put the geese to bed and they had a baby crow with him. My first thought was Oh no! figuring that he was ousted prematurely or injured and my second thought was that you'd love him. Luckily he was fine, not much of a flier yet but good enough to be safe.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you Sharon, ....The geese had a baby crow with them!!!!...awwww... would I have loved to have been there and seen that... Thank you for telling me about it...
and your little Nuthatches... I guess since I don't have any here I miss them... I probably would miss any of the other regulars too if they suddenly went away not to return...
I guess I should be appreciating and enjoying the ones that are here instead of longing for the ones that never were .. Funny human trait, huh?

Yes Ruth, I do remember seeing your beautiful photograph of the Nuthatch and I just loved it.. I'm really glad that even though I don't see them , that all you guys do notice them ...

Jazz said...

That's because all the white and red breasted nuthatches are at my cottage.

Seriously though, if you want to attract them, they love peanuts. Get yourself a peanut feeder (the metal silo with holes in it) and get yourself some shelled peanuts (in the bird food section of your local "whereever you get birdseed" store).

You might end up with blue jays and woodpeckers also though.

Oh, and I love that watercolour!

laura said...

Gwen, I love this! I'm in awe of people who can paint or draw birds. How do you do it? I guess I have never developed the ability to observe and remember something; I only draw what I can look at. It's a skill worth developing, if only for the chance to paint birds! I live near Cape May, NJ, which is one of the top birding sites, and I get a wonderful, changing variety of birds in my yard; I wish I could paint them as beautiful as you do; you really captured this bird's bright intelligence.

wooly daisy said...

hi gwen- your nature studies are incredible! you really should paint/write a book on nature studies(natural history)-i always look forward to seeing what you paint next and learn about your local beings!

flyinamber said...

beautiful bird and beautiful work..I never paint small pieces,maybe I should try..
it is raining here last days,I hope it will stop till tomorrow..
have a nice weekend with your family Gwen!

Louie In Seattle said...

What did you say your name was again?
Gwen Buchanan Audubon?

What a lovely watercolor! Maybe you should do a color photocopy and fasten it to a tree, and see if it attracts mates.

If you ever sell prints, let us know!

Gwen Buchanan said...

A-ha, Thanks Jazz... Peanuts... I'll look for a peanut silo... we have some blue-jays ...and a poor little woodpecker hit the window the other day... it lived to fly off after we held it for a while and had a photo session..
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Oh Laura I am inspired every time I go to your blog to see your
latest work... I really want to do more plein air...
what a great location you are in to see so many birds... A birders favourite place... that is wonderful!!!

Thank you, so much
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oh wooly you are so encouraging. thank you for your thoughtful comments... I love seeing your natural life too...
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Hi Dada, Thank you... I loved seeing the figs growing in your families garden... we are just seeing our apple blossoms here...
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Louie you are so funny!!!
Are you a comedian in real life?? I really appreciate your thoughts and I'll let you know when I'm in the big time...Don't hold your breath!!! I could stick a picture in the tree though... ya never know!!!

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denise said...

That is so nice. I love the color and the ink. Deep, yet not dark. Lovely!

seth apter said...

Such a beautiful watercolor and your description of the Nuthatch really brings it to life.

rivergardenstudio said...

What a beautiful painting. I too love the Nuthatch...I bet suet will help attract them! You are so observant, I love the scientist in all of us who paint birds.
Thanks for stopping by. I don't leave for a week and a half. So many months of planning and now my trip is almost here...Roxanne

Gwen Buchanan said...

Seth and Roxanne, thank you... I am excited to see the finished collaboration you two have been working on..looks like lots of fun...

thank you denise, I appreciate your comments and your coming to check it out..

VioletSky said...

I wanted to say what a beautiful watercolour and lovely description of the nuthatch. But a few people beat me to it. Now I fear you might be getting tired of all this adulation. No? Well, it is well deserved.
Perhaps we should thank the bird for being so cute?!

Gwen Buchanan said...

I wonder if they prefer aged bark on deciduous trees...
I'm coming to steal some of your birds , Kathi....

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oh Thank you little bird for being so cute!... thanks Violet sky...

Robyn said...

What a dear little bird and you have painted it so beautifully.You've captured it's quirkiness. There's something about watercolours....magic.

The Crow said...

One of my friends is a nuthatch.
He likes peanuts and sunflower seeds the most.
The least afraid, of any bird, and the most territorial, too.
Big attitude in a small body.

Sandy said...

i liked it then and now!!

BumbleVee said...

Hi Gwen, I saw this guy on our sidebar and had to check out the little story... he is so cute....I have one that comes to the feeder ... and also a little red breasted one as well.....I'm going to send you a couple of my pics of them ...they are so cute.

Gwen Buchanan said...

I loved the pics you sent Vee! You really have a knack for capturing the little birds. You are very patient!!