Red-breasted Nuthatch

Sitta canadensis

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Nuthatches (Sittidae)

Code 4

RBNU

Code 6

SITCAN

ITIS

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Breeding Location:

Forests, coniferous



Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Solitary nester



Breeding Population:

Fairly common to common



Egg Color:

White to light pink marked with red brown



Number of Eggs:

4 - 7



Incubation Days:

12



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Material:

Lined with shredded bark, grass, and roots.



Migration:

Some migrate



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General

Red-breasted Nuthatch: Medium-sized nuthatch with blue-gray upperparts and pale rust-brown underparts. Head has black cap, white eyebrow, and black eyestripe; throat is white. Bill is slightly upturned. Female and juvenile have duller head, paler underparts.

Range and Habitat

Red-breasted Nuthatch: Breeds across Canada from southeastern Alaska, Manitoba, and Newfoundland south to southern California, Arizona, the Great Lakes region, and northern New England, and south in Appalachians to North Carolina. Spends winters in breeding range and irregularly south to the Gulf Coast. Preferred habitats include coniferous forests.

Breeding and Nesting

Red-breasted Nuthatch: Four to seven white to light pink eggs, marked with red brown, are laid in a cup of twigs and grass, lined with softer material, and built in a tree cavity. The entrance is usually smeared with pitch, presumably to discourage predators; pitch often gets on the bird's feathers, giving them a messy appearance. Nest is built by both parents, but female does most of the work. Eggs are incubated for approximately 12 days by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Red-breasted Nuthatch: Eats insects, spiders, egg masses, seeds, and nuts. "Nuthatch" is derived from "nut-hack", a reference to the habit of hacking or pecking open nuts by wedging them in a bark crevice and hammering them open with its bill.

Readily Eats

Sunflower Seed, Nut Pieces

Vocalization

Red-breasted Nuthatch: Call is a tinny "yank-yank."

Similar Species

Red-breasted Nuthatch: White-breasted Nuthatch lacks black eye-line and has mostly white underparts. Brown-headed and Pygmy nuthatches have brown caps, white patches on napes, and lack the eye-lines.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
EyebrowX
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X