Redbreasted nuthatch

Sitta canadensis

SUBFAMILY

Sittinae

TAXONOMY

Sitta canadensis Linnaeus, 1776. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Sittelle a poitrine rousse; German: Kanadakleiber; Spanish: Saltapalo Canadiense.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4 in (10 cm), with a short tail. The back is colored blue-gray, the undersides red-brown, crown black, throat white, and with a white line over the eye and a black one through it.

DISTRIBUTION

Occurs widely in southern and northwestern Canada and most of the United States.

HABITAT

Breeds in mature, boreal or montane, conifer-dominated forest. Winters in a wider range of conifer dominated forest.

BEHAVIOR

Occurs as pairs that defend a breeding territory. It is an irregular migrant that spends some winters in the breeding range. Often flocks with chickadees in winter. The song is a series of nasal notes.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Gleans invertebrates from tree bark and foliage, and also eats fruits and seeds in winter.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Pairs nest in a tree cavity. The female incubates the eggs but both sexes feed the young.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. A widespread and abundant species.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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