La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
Gr. sitte woodpecker like bird
mentioned by Aristotle
La. canadensis for Canada
Louis Agassiz Fuertes
Four to five inches long. Black crown, brown wings and tail. White brow and thin white
strip from above the base of the beak, above the eye, to the back of the head. White
throat and cheeks. Gray back. Light rusty red or gold underside.
Lives in coniferous and mixed forests throughout the West Coast and
Rocky Mountain States, most of Canada and southern Alaska, the Great Lakes region, and
from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Appalachia. Varying numbers may migrate moderate
distances depending on each season's pine cone crop, as far as southern US or northern
Builds grass nests in natural or abandon woodpecker cavities or birdhouses from a few feet
to well out of reach.
Lays four to six, more or less, creamy
white speckled eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest
in about another three weeks.
Smears sticky tree pitch (sap) around the outside of their cavity
|Ernest Seton Thompson
Runs about, down, up, and underneath coniferous (pine and spruce) tree
limbs foraging for insects and spiders inhabiting bark crevices. Eats pine seeds and is
attracted to suet feeders.
Secures nuts in the cracks of bark
so it may hammer them apart or for later retrieval. Nuthatches feed with chickadees and
titmice at feeders.
The Red-breasted Nuthatch Birdhouse
(same as for the White-breasted Nuthatchs, Chickadees, Titmice and Downy
Woodpeckers) has a 4" by 4" floor, 9" inside ceiling, 1 1/4" diameter entrance
hole located 7" above the floor, ventilation openings, hinged roof
secured with shutter hooks and is assembled with screws.
Mount nest box on a tree trunk about eye level or just out of reach, up to 15
feet if necessary.
Chickadees, titmice, wrens, downy woodpeckers and other nuthatches may use this box.
Nest Box Plans
Because nuthatches commonly nest in natural or abandon cavities, or excavate their own
cavities, a few chips on the nest box floor are fitting. Make more attractive to
nuthatches by fixing bark with nails or glue to the nest box exterior.