Sitta carolinensis
(White-breasted Nuthatch)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Sittidae
Family Description: Nuthatches

Physical Description:
5-6" (13-15 cm). Blue-gray back and wings; black crownClick word for definition and shoulders; white below and on face; bill slim and pointed.

Similar Species- Red-breasted Nuthatch, Pygmy Nuthatch, Brown Creeper.

Song:
Calls a nasal waank waank waank. Song is a short rapid dwi-dwi-dwi-dwi-dwi- dwi-dow-dow.

Distribution:
Resident from Washington and southern British Columbia, east to southern Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, and south to Baja California, southeastern Arizona, southern Mexican highlands, and Gulf Coast. Absent from most of Great Plains.

Habitat:
Found primarily in deciduousClick word for definition and mixed forest, locally in coniferousClick word for definition forests, and more frequently in open woodlands, pinyon/juniper, clearings, forest edges, parks, and partly-open situations with scattered trees.

Diet:
Eats mainly nuts and seeds in fall and winter, and insects in spring and summer.

Ecology:
Nests in natural or excavated cavity, preferably in standing snag or hollow tree. Forages in mated pairs on trunks and main branches of trees. Hoards surplus food. Maintains year-round territory. In one study, resident pairs stayed together on feeding territory of 10-20 ha throughout year. Arizona study found 3-16 breeding pairs/40 ha.

Reproduction:
Female incubatesClick word for definition 5-10 eggs (commonly 8), for about 12 days. Young are tended by both parents, leave nest at about 14 days, and are fed by parents for another 2 wk.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPAZ01020
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
National Rank: N5

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.


Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.