Unless, the Bluejays decide to be more cooperative, this may be the final bird photo that I will inflict upon all ye dear readers
This is a White-breasted Nuthatch. Of course, I didn't know that until I looked it up. After being instructed about Red-breasted Nuthatches, we were able to guess that this was a Nuthatch of some description, which made it rather easier to locate in the book.
According to the book, the White-breasted Nuthatch is usually seen and photographed just like this — crawling down a tree trunk. Unlike it's red-breasted cousin, this guy is not at all interested in our peanut butter. We weren't even aware of his existence until The Boy happened upon him while taking two hundred pictures with my camera the other day. As you might gather, The Boy has some interest and background in photography and got quite a few wonderful shots.
Back to the bird: according to the map, he (or she) is at the outer limits of his range here, whereas the red-breast is not nearly as close to its habitat boundary. The red-breast rules. When he or she wants to feed, all of the chickadees must give ground (or branch ... or glove). There may be close to a dozen chickadees hovering about, but red-breast takes her time and consumes her fill. I have visually tracked red-breast back toward her lair, which seems quite far removed from the feeding tree.
I wonder, therefore, what alerts her to our presence. Is it sight or sound? I also wonder why the white-breast is so different in temperament. Do the differences have to do with the species or simply two unique and individual temperaments?
For those who wonder about such things The Boy is Butterfly's man. I have been asked, but I'm not totally sure why we call him The Boy; neither do I know why I italicize it sometimes but not always. Perhaps, we call him what we do because we had two girls. Who can understand nicknames anyway? The Boy certainly can't. He is French, and, apparently, they simply don't use nicknames the way we do. He can't quite fathom how Bob, Bobby, Rob, or Robbie are all really Robert. Then there's Ed, Ted, Teddy, Eddie: all from Edward. Crazy language this.