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Pygmy Nuthatch

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sittidae
Genus: Sitta
Species: pygmaea

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
Gr. sitte woodpecker like bird
      mentioned by Aristotle
Gr. pugmaios dwarfish
La. pygmaea pygmy

 
 
Pigmy Nuthatch, Chester A. Reed, Color Key to North American Birds, Frank M. Chapman, 1912
 
Chester A. Reed  
 
Smallest of the nuthatches, about four inches long. Brown crown, blue-gray or gray-brown back and wings lined with black and sometimes white. White throat, cheeks, underparts, and small nape patch. Very short tail. Western equivalent of the Brown-headed Nuthatch.

Inhabits mixed and coniferous forests from southern British Columbia, Idaho and western Montana to southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

USGS Pigmy Nuthatch Map


Builds nests of feathers, leaves and other foliage in natural or abandoned cavities or in cavities they excavate themselves.

Lays five to eight, more or less, white speckled eggs that hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest within another three weeks.

 
Small flocks of pygmy nuthatches dart throughout pine trees, on trunks, limbs and needles feeding on insects, spiders, their eggs and larva and pinecone seeds. Nuthatches help control tree parasites and the diseases spread by insects

The Pygmy Nuthatch Birdhouse (below, same as for Brown-headed Nuthatch) has a 4" by 4" floor, 9" inside ceiling, 1 1/8" diameter entrance hole located 7" above the floor, ventilation openings, hinged roof secured with shutter hooks and screw assembly. Chickadees, titmice, and other nuthatches may use this box.

Nestbox for Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Pigmy Nuthatches, Brown-headed Nuthatches and Siberian Chickadees
Pygmy Nuthatch
Nest Box Plans

 
Mount this nest box in a coniferous tree between eye level and just out of reach. Place a few chips on the nest box floor.
   
 

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