This week’s photo, taken June 25, 2014 at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, south of Spokane, WA, features a fledgling PYGMY NUTHATCH.
During a brief visit to a far eastern part of Washington state, I spend a few hours birding at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. While walking a few trails and also driving the 5-mile auto tour route, I observe plenty of interesting species, including EASTERN KINGBIRDS on a nest, a BLACK TERN cruising back and forth above Kepple Lake, and a female RUDDY DUCK floating on the lake with 9 ducklings paddling close to their momma. At the start of the refuge’s newest foot path, called the Bluebird Trail, several WESTERN BLUEBIRDS perch out in the open. Apparently, they are employed as official greeters on their namesake trail.
When I return to my car and begin to leave the refuge, I only drive about 200 feet before I notice several PYGMY NUTHATCHES in a small tree across the road. Fledglings are being fed by adults, and a young Pygmy Nuthatch is sitting alone on a branch in an adjacent tree. It’s probably waiting for a food delivery from its parents. I stop my car, walk to the other side of the road, and capture a few images of the lone and quite cute nuthatch.
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