White Breasted Nuthatch

General Characteristics of White-Breasted Nuthatches

One of my favorite birds to watch is white-breasted nuthatches.  You can always tell when they are around because they have a unique yank, yank voice and lower hah, hah, hah hah, hah call note.


General Information

Name::White-Breasted Nuthatch
Scientific Name::Sitta carolinensis
Family:Nuthatch
Size:8 – 11 inches
Habitat:Mixed forest, including orchards, parks, suburban gardens throughout North America
Diet:Seeds, nuts, small insects (see list below)

Male

The white-breasted nuthatches are common feeder birds. You can attract them to your feeders and in your yard by customizing your feeders and yards.

The male has a black crown, gray back, and white face and underparts.


Female

White Breasted Nuthatch - One of my favorite birds to watch are white-breasted nuthatches.  You can always tell when they are around because they have a unique voice. They eat insects, seeds and nuts. During the winter months in Wisconsin, nuthatches actively seek out seed, peanut and suet feeders. Feeders happen to be the perfect place to sit and spend a half an hour with my camera.

The female is similar in appearance but has a gray slate-colored crown.


Diet

White Breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatches are common feeder birds. You can attract them to your feeders and in your yard by customizing your feeders and yards.

Nuts, Insects & Seed

Acorns
Hickory nuts
Beechnuts
Suet
Black oil sunflower seeds
Striped sunflower seeds

Caterpillars
Ants
Planthoppers
Peanuts
Cracked Corn
Safflower Seed

Additional Posts:
Make your own suet
Grow your own safflower seed

The birds spend much of their time carrying seeds away to stash for later. Nuthatches will take extra seeds to hide so they can retrieve them at a later time.  This behavior is called “caching”.

Caching helps birds survive when food sources are low.  These birds store hundreds of seeds a day. They have several locations to store their seed and always seem to remember where they have stashed them.


Trees They Like

  • Oaks
  • Maples
  • Hickories
  • Beech
  • Pines
  • Spruces

Nesting Info

Habitat:Cavity sites in dead trees
Nest ShapeInside the cavity of a tree
Eggs:5-8 eggs white and spotted & speckled with reddish-brown & lavender
Incubation:13 to 14 days 
Fledging:

General Nesting Information

White Breasted nuthatches are early nesters, nesting somewhere around the 20th of April. Homes are chosen in wooded and semi-wooded areas that have dead trees. A hole is excavated in the decayed tree, 3–12 inches from the ground, and inside is lined with shredded bark, fur, and feathers.

Females lay 5-8 eggs that are white and spotted and speckled with a reddish-brown and lavender coloring. The female incubates the eggs for 13-14 days. When the female leaves the nest it smears blister beetle matter, vegetation, and fur around the outside of the tree hole to deter predators from smelling the nesting site.

The young stay in the nest for about a month where the adults feed young by regurgitation for the first two weeks or longer.


Additional Posts

Photo Designs With Nuthatches

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