Published on December 14th, 2013 | by Backyards Made Better0
Backyard Birds – The Nuthatch
Few groups of birds are as endearing as the noble nuthatch. The family Sittidae offers birders across the Northern Hemisphere no shortage of opportunities for merriment as they clamor through trees and feeding stations, almost always oriented on the vertical plane and offering vocalizations variously described asyanks, toots, and the squealing of arboreal rubber ducks.
The 25 species of nuthatches are currently all placed in the genus Sitta, and as such, share a number of characteristics.
All are characterized by short tails and large heads with long, powerful beaks.
All are cavity nesters, either in abandoned holes in snags or rock crevasses, and all forage for insects under bark by running head-down along the trunks and branches of trees.
All save one are non-migratory, the sole exception being the Red-breasted Nuthatch of North America.