Nuthatches, especially the white breasted variety, are serious posers.  They do not mind a little human companionship in the forest and often look as if they are waiting to be petted or fed as they take a break from their busy days to observe a pitiful earth-bound photographer passing by.  These little darlings are too cute for us to pick a single photo of each so you will see several below (with the white breasted Sitta carolinensis easily distinguished from the red breasted Sitta canadensis).  We love to hear or see nuthatches not only because we love to say "awwwwwww" but also because in the Ponderosa pine forests that pervade Western Montana, they are regulars among mixed feeding flocks.  Thus, where there are nuthatches there are also likely to be woodpeckers and other species.  And just how does the cutest but smallest of birds manage to survive the freezing Northern winters?   Why, in the cutest way possible of course, by huddling together in a communal brood consisting of up to 170 birds!  In addition to the white breasted and red breasted varieties shown below, we are still looking for their cousin, the pygmy nuthatch, who may just be the cutest in the family.  It may not be shocking that pygmy nuthatches are tiny, but they are shockingly tiny, weighing only about 10 grams. 
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