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.
|Scientific Name::||Sitta carolinensis|
|Size:||8 – 11 inches|
|Habitat:||Mixed forest, including orchards, parks, suburban gardens throughout North America|
|Diet:||Seeds, nuts, small insects (see list below)|
The male has a black crown, gray back, and white face and underparts.
The female is similar in appearance but has a gray slate-colored crown.
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
Black oil sunflower seeds
Striped sunflower seeds
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
|Habitat:||Cavity sites in dead trees|
|Nest Shape||Inside the cavity of a tree|
|Eggs:||5-8 eggs white and spotted & speckled with reddish-brown & lavender|
|Incubation:||13 to 14 days|
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.