Bird Families

Common nuthatch, what kind of bird is it and where does it winter?

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Year of issue: 1985

Condition in the photo. Photos are not edited for the purpose of increasing attractiveness.

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External characteristics

Description:

Latin name:Sitta
English name:Nuthatch
Kingdom:Animals
A type:Chordates
Class:Birds
Squad:Passerine
Family:Nuthatch
Genus:Nuthatches
Body length:11-15.5 cm
Wing length:8-9 cm
Wingspan:22.5-27 cm
Weight:8.5-55 g

The body of a bird has a length of 11 to 15 cm, and the species of a giant nuthatch, widespread in China and Thailand, has a body length of 19.5 cm.The wingspan covers 22-27 cm.Weight is about 25 g. The size of the head of the bird is large, the body the body is dense, the tail is not long.

The beak has a straight shape, medium length, dark gray colored. Plumage color depends on the habitat. In northern Europe, the color of the abdomen is brown, the neck is white. The upper body varies in gray-blue tones.

Nuthatches, which live in the forests of Western Europe, Western Asia and the Caucasus, are distinguished by a red color of the lower body and a white neck. In the northern areas of the range, the belly is usually white, with brownish-red sides and a brown undertail with white specks. In a bird species found in eastern China, the lower part of the body is completely painted in bright brown.

In the Far East, nuthatch subspecies have white breasts. And the extreme tail feathers are always marked with white streaks. On both sides of the head, from the base of the beak to the neck, there is a narrow black stripe. The legs are gray-brown, with sharp, long claws. The external difference between the female and the male lies in the size of the body: the males look somewhat larger. There are no other external differences.

Why was it called so

The nuthatch bird was so named because it crawls along the trunk, both up and down with its head. The word nuthatch comes from the verb to crawl, to crawl.

Male and female: differences

Sexual dimorphism in nuthatch is insignificant. In some species, the male is slightly larger than the female. In others, the color of the lower part of the body changes, in the area of ​​the sides and undertail, and also the "eyebrows" on the face and the color of the crown and crown of the head differ.

Habits and food

The most common habitat is deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests, parks and gardens. Birds choose tall old trees for housing. They do not leave their homes. Nuthatches are not migratory birds.

The exceptions are species from the northern regions, which fly away to the southern regions of their range in winter. Nuthatches live exclusively on their territory, without violating the boundaries of the possessions of other birds, they are not allowed to enter their site. In the cold season, they can nest with flocks of other birds. However, they themselves do not gather in flocks.

In the wild, nuthatches are able to quickly move up and down the tree trunks with their heads up and down. This ability is available to them thanks to the long, tenacious claws. Often the nuthatch lives next to a person. The bird is easy to tame. People make bird houses where nuthatches live and nest.

Singing nuthatch has a different frequency. Despite their small size, nuthatches make loud sounds and have a wide range of whistles, bubbling trills and other melodies. Singing during the mating season is usually simple, sounding like a call, but longer. When the nuthatch is busy looking for food, it produces multiple short whistles "Tue-Tue-Tue", occasionally just "ttsit" or longer "ttsi-it", for which he received the nickname "coachman".

If the bird is agitated, then a loud "dark" or "tteg" is heard, often repeated with short pauses. It can produce trills with different frequencies - sounds like "tuy-tuy-tuy". The nuthatch becomes most noisy on the eve of the breeding season - at the end of winter and in spring.

Nuthatch diet consists of both plant and animal food. Insects such as butterflies, flies, beetles and bed bugs often become bird food. In the summer-autumn period, the nuthatch produces fruits, seeds, nuts, acorns.

During the warm season, it makes reserves for the winter and stores them in the bark of trees, covering the cache with lichen or a piece of bark. In the cold season, the nuthatch does not refuse man-made feeders.

Spread

Area

Nuthatches are widespread in the northern hemisphere. Most of them live in Asia. Nuthatches also live almost everywhere in Europe. Thus, the range covers temperate zones from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. Two species are found in the Atlas Mountains in northern Africa, Morocco and Algeria. In North America, there are Canadian, brown-headed nuthatches and crumb nuthatches.

Habitat

Nuthatches choose places with a cool climate for life. Northern species live on plains, southern ones prefer mountains. In general, birds are sedentary, and only occasionally make small migrations. Nuthatches are arboreal birds that live in coniferous evergreen forests, in the mountains or foothills. Some species are found in mixed or deciduous forests, woodlands and cultural landscapes.

Nuthatch is a migratory bird or not

Nuthatch wintering bird which hibernates in the forest (They do not fly south). Sometimes nuthatches are observed in the steppe zone, but more often birds winter in coniferous forests. Ornithologists classify them as partly nomadic. As soon as spring comes, birds move back to mixed and deciduous forests.

Common nuthatch

The common nuthatch or coachman (Sitta europaea) is found in Europe, Asia and North Africa. This is a small mobile bird with a body length of 12 to 14.5 cm, a wingspan of 22.5 to 27 cm and a weight of 20-25 g. It has a dense constitution, a large head and a short neck. The plumage is fluffy and dense. The color varies in different regions of residence.

The upper body is usually bluish gray in color. In the west of Europe, in Asia and the Caucasus, the tummy is red, and the chin and neck are white. In the north of the range, the belly is white with red flanks and the undertail covered with white streaks. There is a dark "mask" on the eyes. The beak is gray, long, straight, sharp. The wings are short, rounded. The tail is short and straight. Legs are gray-brown, strong. The male is slightly larger in size than the female.

  • Latin name: Sitta europaea
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Common nuthatch
  • Body length: 14 cm
  • Wingspan: 22.5-27 cm
  • Weight: 17-28 g

Crumb nuthatch

The length of the bird is up to 10 cm, and the weight is about 10 g. The plumage is colored bluish-gray from above, the belly is whitish, the crown is gray with a white spot on the back of the head.

  • Latin name: Sitta pygmaea
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Nuthatch crumb
  • Body length: 11 cm
  • Wingspan: 22.5-27 cm
  • Weight: 9.3-11.4 g

The species is distributed from southern British Columbia to the western United States all the way to central Mexico. Lives in coniferous forests.

Corsican nuthatch

The bird is endemic to the coniferous forests of the island of Corsica. Its body length is up to 12 cm. The head is small, the beak is short. The back is bluish-gray, the tummy is gray-beige, only the throat is light, whitish. The male has a black crown and bridle, has a white eyebrow. In the female, the crown and bridle are gray. Juveniles are distinguished by dull plumage.

  • Latin name: Sitta whiteheadi
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Corsican nuthatch
  • Body length: 12 cm
  • Wingspan: 22.5-27 cm
  • Weight: 11.8-14.4 g

Black-headed nuthatch

The body length of the species is up to 12.5 cm. The head is small, the beak is small. The upper body is bluish gray. The tummy is off-white, there is a reddish spot on the chest. There is a white "eyebrow" on the head, the crown is black.

  • Latin name: Sitta krueperi
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Corsican nuthatch
  • Body length: 12.5 cm
  • Wingspan: 22.5-27 cm
  • Weight: 10-14.3 g

The species is sedentary, inhabits the Caucasus, Turkey and the island of Lesvos.

Canadian nuthatch

From above, the bird is painted bluish-gray, the abdomen is reddish, the face is white with black stripes on the eyes, the neck is white, the crown is black, the beak is gray.

  • Latin name: Sitta canadensis
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Canadian nuthatch
  • Body length: 11.5 cm
  • Weight: 10-11 g

The species range includes coniferous forests in Alaska, Canada, and the northeastern and western United States.

Przewalski's nuthatch

The body length of the bird is about 13 cm. The back is blue-violet or gray, the crown and nape are dark. The cheeks and throat are whitish-yellow, smoothly merging into a red breast and tummy, the sides and undertail are chestnut-red.

  • Latin name: Sitta przewalskii
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Przewalski's nuthatch
  • Body length: 12.5 cm
  • Weight: 11-13 g

The species nests in China, in mountain coniferous forests at altitudes from 2250 to 4500 m above sea level.

Carolina nuthatch

The body length of the species is from 11 to 18 cm, the weight is 20-40 g, the wingspan is from 22.5 to 27 cm. The constitution is dense, the head is large, the neck is short. The beak is chisel-shaped, sharp, strong.

  • Latin name: Sitta carolinensis
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Carolina nuthatch
  • Body length: 15.5 cm
  • Weight: 19.6-22.9 g

Small rock nuthatch

Outwardly, it resembles an ordinary nuthatch. Distributed in southeastern Europe, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Iran. He prefers to live among rocks, on steep cliffs, near ravines.

  • Latin name: Sitta neumayer
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Small rocky nuthatch
  • Body length: 13-13.5 cm
  • Weight: 24-37.6 g

Big rocky nuthatch

The body length of the bird is from 15 to 16 cm. The weight is in the range from 42.7 to 55 g. The back is gray, the belly is white with a reddish tint on the sides. There is a black "mask" on the eyes.

  • Latin name: Sitta tephronota
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Great rocky nuthatch
  • Body length: 15-16 cm
  • Weight: 42.7-55 g

The habitat of the species includes the Transcaucasia, Central and Central Asia.

Black-faced nuthatch

The body length of the bird is about 12.5 cm, the head is large, the tail is short, and the beak is strong. The back is blue-violet, the cheeks are lavender. The tummy is beige, the breast is whitish. The beak is red, there is a black spot on the forehead. The male has black eyebrows, the female does not. Juveniles are dull.

  • Latin name: Sitta frontalis
  • Kingdom: Animals
  • Class: Birds
  • Squad: Passerine
  • Family: Nuthatch
  • Genus: Nuthatches
  • View: Black-faced nuthatch
  • Body length: 12.5 cm
  • Weight: 8.5-17 g

Reproduction and life expectancy

Basic information:

  • puberty - from 1 year,
  • breeding season is from April to May,
  • incubation - 1-2 times per season,
  • eggs in a clutch - 4-12,
  • incubation - 2.5 weeks,
  • feeding chicks - 5-5.5 weeks,
  • the lifespan is 10-11 years.

The length of time in which nuthatches nest is determined by the area they occupy. The nesting season lasts from April to May. The nuthatch is of the monogamous type and mates for life. It arranges its nests in hollows, usually in abandoned nests of woodpeckers or natural grooves in tree trunks.

Nest sites are located at a height of 3 to 8 meters. The inlet to the nest, as a rule, has a size of 3-4 cm, and, if necessary, can be reduced with the help of clay. The bottom is lined with leaves and small pieces of bark.

The clutch size is limited to 4-12 eggs, but more often there are 6-8 eggs in the nest. The dull shell is white with small reddish-brown specks. Only the female sits in the nest, which can leave the clutch only in case of direct danger. Flying away from the nest, she covers the eggs with a litter. Incubation lasts for 2.5 weeks. The bodies of the hatched chicks are covered with long down.

Both parents are involved in feeding the offspring. After birth, nuthatch cubs receive food for up to 5-5.5 weeks. After 22 days, the grown chicks are already able to fly.

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