Ponderosa pine trees are widely distributed throughout the western part of the North America. They are a drought resistant tree that has a deep and wide root system. Their roots can spread 100 feet wide and go 36 feet deep. This gives the tree enough root surface to absorb moisture when abundant and prevent the soil layer from getting dry when moisture is scarce. They have large pine cones with seeds, along with long needles, and deep bark which hold many insects. This makes them a food source to a lot of wildlife including Abert squirrels, various chipmunks and mice, along with many birds like quail, bluebirds, Clark’s nutcrackers, Western Tanagers, Mountain Chickadees, and Pygmy nuthatches.
Pygmy nuthatches are the smallest of the nuthatch’s. They can be found in the upper branches of Ponderosa pines. They are very agile and will climb up the tree trunk, turn around and climb down. They will also hang upside down with their back to the ground. Pygmy nuthatches have thin, sharp bills that poke into crevices of the tree in search of food. They will each moths, spiders, wasps, beetles, and pine seeds. They fly through the pine trees in social flocks, calling to one another in high pitched and incessant calls, while foraging. They may flutter in the air to catch insects from the trees or other foliage.
Read more… ABERT SQUIRREL & PONDEROSA PINES