The wife and I have been hand-feeding chickadees down at the Port Hope Waterfront trail for 3 years now. In fact, its become a “start of the day” for us (see link Peggy-aka-Fred). We generally start with a walk and chickadee feeding while assessing conditions, and setting the day’s plan.
However, just a coupla weeks ago, we recharged the thrill with the first hand feeding of a nuthatch.
There are 2 pairs of mated nuthatches (they mate for life) and their combined claimed territory pretty-much covers the entire trail. They actually landed on our hands for the first time just last week. We used to have to hold our hands against a branch, or the tree trunk so they could hang upside down from the bark and pick the seeds out of our hands. That was of course, once the silly buggars had finished grabbing my thumb and/or pecking the hell outa my fingertips (nobody said they’re overly bright I suppose). We have a very interested downy woodpecker getting quite close too now, so it might be an interesting Winter.
UPDATE – Jan 1 2017 – We now have 5 nuthatches feeding from our hands. Two mated pairs and a young one probably hatched just last Summer (you can tell ’cause his head is gray, not black like an adult yet.