White-breasted Nuthatch

The visit of a White-brested Nuthatch to my backyard made my day! The morning started very cold, with frost all over and progressively warmed up and that’s when I saw this nice looking bird that I didn’t see before. I just hope that he would stay and nest nearby.

Next I have gathered some more information about this bird that you may find interesting.

The White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) is a small songbird of the nuthatch family which breeds in old-growth woodland across much of temperate North America. It is a stocky bird, with a large head, short tail, powerful bill and strong feet. The upper-parts are pale blue-gray, and the face and underparts are white. It has a black cap and a chestnut lower belly. The nine subspecies differ mainly in the color of the body plumage.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Like other nuthatches, the white-breasted nuthatch forages for insects on trunks and branches, and is able to move head-first down trees. Seeds form a substantial part of its winter diet, as do acorns and hickory nuts that were stored by the bird in the fall. The nest is in a hole in a tree, and the breeding pair may smear insects around the entrance as a deterrent to squirrels. Adults and young may be killed by hawks, owls and snakes, and forest clearance may lead to local habitat loss, but this is a common species with no major conservation concerns over most of its range.

The breeding habitat of the white-breasted nuthatch is woodland across North America, from southern Canada to northern Florida and southern Mexico. In the eastern part of its range, its preferred habitat is old-growth open deciduous or mixed forest, including orchards, parks, suburban gardens and cemeteries; it is found mainly in the lowlands, although it breeds at 5,495 ft. altitude in Tennessee. In the west and Mexico, this nuthatch is found in open montane pine-oak woodlands, and nesting occurs at up to 10,500 ft. altitude in Nevada, California and Mexico. Pinyon-juniper and riverside woodlands may be used locally where available. The white-breasted nuthatch is the only North American nuthatch usually found in deciduous trees; red-breasted, pygmy and brown-headed nuthatches prefer pines.

The White-breasted Nuthatch is listed as # 203 – Avian101 Lifer List of Birds


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Text excerpts © Wikipedia – Photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101

21 thoughts on “White-breasted Nuthatch

  1. It’s always so exciting to have a new type of bird visit your garden, no matter how common they are elsewhere. You are obviously doing the right thing to attract all sorts of birds, HJ.

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