Red-Breasted Nuthatch

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Sitta Canadensis

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Adults have bluish-gray back and uppertail and rust-colored underparts. They have a black cap and eye line, a white supercilium (eyebrow).

Both sexes are similarly plumaged, but the females and juveniles have duller heads and paler underparts.

BILL: long and pointed.

SIZE: measures about 8.5 inches in length, with a wingspan of 8.5 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 9 - 13 grams.

COLOR: bluish-gray, rust, black and white.

Very fond of seeds of pines and other conifer trees.
Beetles, wasps, caterpillars, insect eggs and crane flies in spring and summer.
Suet, chopped kernels of walnuts, pecans, peanuts and sunflowers seeds at feeders.

Coniferous (spruce or pine) or mixed forests. Also, in suburban habitat with sufficient conifers.

BREEDS: From NW Canada to California, through the Rocky Mountains and across the border and Great Lakes region. Also, southwards from Newfoundland to the Appalachians.

WINTER: South to Gulf Coast and northern Florida.

The usual call is a slow, high, nasal, far-carrying “nyahk-nyahk-nyahk” recalling toy tin horn.
Gives more rapid series when agitated.
It also serve as a territory song.
The contact call is a soft “pit”.

NEST: Both sexes excavate a nesting place and smear sap around the entrance hole. The nest is lined with grass, moss, shredded bark and rootlets. Nest building is done by both sexes, but mostly by the female.

EGGS: 5 - 6 white or creamy non-glossy eggs, spotted brown.

INCUBATION: 12 - 13 days, female.

NESTLING PHASE: 18 - 21 days.

They feed by clambering along the trunks and branches of trees. They will use crevices in tree bark as a seed cache, storing seeds for later retrieval.

The oldest known Red-breasted Nuthatch was 7 years, 6 months old.


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