Nature clicks # 63 - Red-breasted Nuthatch, a rare occasion

Red-breasted Nuthatch
Nikon D300s, Sigma 50-500, f/4.5-6.3 APO DG HSM, Nikon SB600

I  try to develop my style of wildlife photography into a direction where "feeder pictures" don't play a role anymore. But ones in a while comes the opportunity to make an image of a bird that we see very rarely around our house. Can you really blame me for breaking my rules in a matter like this? We live in Eastern Iowa since almost exactly seven years now and have seen the Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) only occasionally during migration times. The only picture I was able to make several years ago was from far away, and of course at one of our bird feeders. Its white-breasted cousin is here all year long and so we are always thrilled if the Red-breasted Nuthatch shows up.

Being home only briefly between two business trips I did not have the time to try more and get a picture away from the feeder on the balcony. I'm glad I took the shots of this wonderful bird. Soon the nuthatch will migrate further south and I don't even know if I may get a second chance after my return from Southern California (thats where I write this post) in  about a week.

By the way, in my home country Germany I have seen its relative, Sitta eurpaea, quite often and they both look very similar. However, the stripe pattern around the head is different.

The picture above was made against the sun and the bird was actually in the shade of the feeder. A little bit fill flash helped here to deal with the circumstances.

I hope you like it, even if it is just a "feeder image"…;-)