Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nuthatches at Cheesequake

Yesterday morning I took my first bird walk at Cheesequake State Park in a few months. According to the park's website, the park reached its goal for this winter's hunting season of 100 white-tailed deer killed, so there will not be any more hunting at the park this winter. The park chose to introduce a hunting season to control the deer population, which had substantially reduced the amount and biodiversity of the understory in the park's wooded areas. How effective it will be remains to be seen, but I hope it will have some positive effects and begin the process of restoring some breeding bird diversity to the park.

Speaking of the park's breeding birds, one of the most prominent species during yesterday's walk was the White-breasted Nuthatch. There were numerous nuthatches along the trails, and many of them were very vocal, almost as if they felt spring's onset and were claiming their territories. Quite a few nuthatches were concentrated around the feeders at the nature center. It was there that I had a chance to photograph some of them at close range.