White-breasted Nuthatch

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Magic Cards

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

White-breasted Nuthatch

With a length of 6 inches, this resident of the United States, southern Canada and Mexico might readily be mistaken by a casual observed for a small woodpecker.  But its call--an oft-repeated "yak"--is very unwoodpecker-like.  Also unlike either woodpeckers or creepers, it climbs downward head first as easily as upward, seeming to defy the laws of gravity.

  "Nuthatch" was suggested by its habit of wedging nuts in crevices of bark so as to break them open by blows from a sharp, strong bill.  The white-breast gets its living from the trunks and branches of trees, over which it walks from daylight to dark.  Insects and spiders constitute about half of its food.  More than half of its vegetable food consists of acorns and other nuts or large seeds.  It's a bird of the wooded suburbs, and will feed at sheltered stations offering suet, sunflower seeds, or nuts.


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