White-breasted Nuthatch - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image White-breasted Nuthatch - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image White-breasted Nuthatch - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image White-breasted Nuthatch - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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White-breasted Nuthatch
Sitta carolinensis

Chickadees, Nuthatches and Creepers
Nuthatch Family (Sittidae)

Size: Length: 15 cm Wingspan: 24-29 cm

Description: The white-breasted nuthatch has gray upper surface with a white face, throat, chest, and belly. The undertail coverts may take on a rusty-red colour. The back and rump are gray, but the wing coverts are dark gray or black. The tail feathers show a predominance of white near the tip.

Similar Species: The red-breasted nuthatch has similar habits, as well as a similar general appearance. The red-breasted nuthatch has more black on the head, with a prominent white streak running through the eye, and extending towards the nape. It also has a much more prominent rusty-red belly.

Range: The white-breasted nuthatch is rare in most of Canada, becoming more common throughout the United States. Within the Rockies, it is rare in the Canadian and northern U.S. Rockies, becoming a common sight in Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado).

Habitat: They are found in deciduous or coniferous woods. Favourite habitats include ponderosa pine forests. Other locations include aspen forests or pinyon pine-juniper forests, usually at lower elevations.

Diet: White-breasted nuthatches pick behind the bark scales of trees, looking for insects and seeds. They are also fond of sunflower seeds and suet, and will readily approach bird feeders.

Nesting: They nest in natural cavities, or cavities they excavate themselves. They will also use nest boxes. They build a small cup-shaped nest into which 5-9 White eggs, often speckled with reddish or purple, will be laid. Incubation is by the female, with the altricial and downy nestlings hatching after approximately 12 days. Both parents tend the young, which will continue to be fed for two weeks after they leave the nest.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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