Pygmy Nuthatch

Sitta pygmaea




Nuthatches (Sittidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with sparse red brown flecks

Number of Eggs:

4 - 9

Incubation Days:

15 - 16

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

8 - 60 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with leaves, shredded pinecones, plant down, fur, and feathers.





Pygmy Nuthatch: Small nuthatch with blue-gray upperparts and pale yellow breast. Head has a dark gray-brown cap, pale spot on nape, and thick black eye-line; throat is white. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Pygmy Nuthatch: Resident locally from southern British Columbia, south into the Pacific Northwest and into California, eastward to the Black Hills of South Dakota, and southward into central Mexico. Primary habitat consists of ponderosa pine forests with undergrowth of bunchgrass; also occurs in stands of other pines, Douglas firs, and western larch.

Breeding and Nesting

Pygmy Nuthatch: Four to nine white eggs with red brown flecks are laid in a nest made of soft plant material, in a cavity of a dead pine or stump, usually about 15 feet above the ground. Incubation ranges from 15 to 16 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Pygmy Nuthatch: Diet consists of caterpillars, moths, other insects, and conifer seeds; forages by climbing up and down trunks and branches, often turning upside down and sideways.

Readily Eats

Sunflower Seed, Nut Pieces

Feeder Type

Seed tube feeder, Squirrel-proof seed feeder, Suet cake feeder, Shelled peanut feeder


Pygmy Nuthatch: Call is a noisy, ongoing, rapid "tee-dee, tee-dee"; also makes a flutelike "wee-bee, wee-bee."

Similar Species

Pygmy Nuthatch: Red-breasted Nuthatch is larger and has black cap and black eye-line with a white eyebrow.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X