Field Guide

Photo credit: Jean-Guy Dallaire

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

The Red-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta canadensis, is a small songbird.

Adults have blue-grey upperparts with reddish underparts; they have a white face with a black stripe through the eyes, a white throat, a straight grey bill and a black crown. This bird is smaller than the White-breasted Nuthatch.

Their breeding habitat is coniferous forests across Canada, Alaska and the northeastern and western United States. They excavate a nest in dead wood, often close to the ground. They smear the entrance to their nest with pitch.

These birds are often permanent residents, but they regularly migrate into the southern United States if the food supply fails. This species is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, and one bird successfully overwintered in Great Britain.

They forage on the trunk and large branches of trees, often descending head first, sometimes catching insects in flight. They mainly eat insects and seeds, especially from conifers.

The call is like a tin trumpet. It is similar to that of the White-breasted Nuthatch, but higher in pitch.

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Descriptions from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Used under terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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