Like other nuthatches, the Red-breasted Nuthatch moves quickly down trees searching for tasty grubs and insects. In fact, the Red-breasted Nuthatch, a winter-only visitor to Minnesota, is much more agile than its cousins and often seems to “flit” through the trees. The male and female are vocal, but you need to listen closely to hear their constant chatter.
Red-breasted Nuthatches nest farther north, west, and higher in the mountains than White-breasted Nuthatches. They may migrate hundreds of miles to the south in the winter if food crops fail in boreal forests.
Nuthatches consume both seeds, nuts and insects. They prefer pine seeds and will pry open pine cones to extract the tiny seeds. They will come to a feeder for black oil sunflower, chopped peanuts and suet. During the warm months, they feast on insects and insect eggs, including beetles, wasps, and caterpillars.