La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
Gr. sitte woodpecker like bird
mentioned by Aristotle
La. carolinensis for the Carolina
Black crown, nape and bill. Wings and upper parts slate (blue-gray) with brown
and black fringe.
Brown and black tail feathers with white
bars. White from the sides of its head and neck to its underside. Straight, rather
long, partially black beak.
Usually a year around resident, it
inhabits deciduous and mixed forests, groves and wooded towns in southern Canada,
throughout most of continental United States and northern Mexico.
Builds nests of leaves, feathers, hair and bark in natural or
abandon woodpecker cavities or birdhouses. Nuthatches are also capable of excavating their
Lays six to eight, more or less, sometimes
as many as ten speckled eggs, which hatch after less than two weeks incubation and young
leave the nest in about another two weeks.
They help keep tree diseases and insect carriers in balance.
shaped claws enable nuthatches to flit dexterously on, underneath, up and
down (mostly down) tree trunks and limbs eyeing crannies and crevices
sometimes prying loose bark searching for insects, spiders, larva and
Louis Agassiz Fuertes
They store nuts in the crevices of bark which are retrieved in winter when
insects are fewer and the nuts are chopped apart (hence their name.) They
also eat seeds, and berries.
In winter they are often seen foraging together or mixed with downy
woodpeckers, other nuthatches, chickadees, and titmice and at seed and suet
Nest Box Plans
Sometimes they become accustomed enough to their hosts to take seeds from their hands.
The White-breasted Nuthatch Birdhouse (same as for the Red-breasted
Titmice and Chickadees) has a 4" by 4" floor, 9" inside ceiling, 1 1/4"
diameter entrance hole located 7" above the floor, ventilation openings, and a hinged roof secured with
shutter hooks. Assemble with screws fit to pre-drilled pilot holes.
Chickadees, titmice, wrens, downy woodpeckers and other nuthatches
may use this box.