Stuck Truck

w/c  sally wickham mollomo  12/2014

I rolled off the assembly line 
a long time ago
I’ve learned a few things over the years
Listen to the weather forecast
Keep the  gas tank full
Don't drink and drive
But I’ve never been at the wheel
Always had to depend on a  driver
So here I am
A stuck truck
On a cold winter night
in heavy wet snow
Nothing to do but sit 
and wait 

White-breasted Nuthatch

There are many things to like about the White-breasted Nuthatch.  He is a little bird of five or six inches, with feathers of black, white and light gray.  There is a smidgen of rufous on his tummy.  His long bill, slightly turned up at the end,  gives him a jaunty air.  His appearance does not change during the year and male and female look very much alike.  You could say that the nuthatch is a constant bird.  

While the species has a range from Newfoundland to Florida, they tend to stay in one locale.  No lengthy migrations for these birds—the Floridians stay in Florida;  the Newfies stay in Newfoundland;  and the Vermonters stay in their chosen area of Vermont at least most of the time.   

Therefore, on just about any walk that I take, I usually spot this “upside-down” bird as he is often called.  In the warmer months, nuthatches are likely to be seen in  or near the woods where they are immediately recognized for their habit of traveling headfirst down a tree apparently defying gravity in their search for bugs and larva in the tree bark.  Their body construction is such that their short tail, long toes and well-balanced bodies contribute to their reputation as acrobats.  

In the winter, nuthatches are common visitors to feeders and can be easily observed from a warm living room.  One day after placing sunflower seeds, peanuts and suet in the feeders, a nuthatch flew up and landed nearby.  The call he made, a nasal “quank” sounded like a human voice saying “thanks.”  I was captivated and that is when I began to really like this bird.