PYGMY NUTHATCH


Sitta pygnaea


Description:

Unlike other tree climbing birds, such as woodpeckers, Nuthatches do not use their tails for stability when clinging to a tree. Instead, they use their sharp claws, which enables them to move in any direction. Being able to climb head first down a tree allows them to gather food that might otherwise be missed. Nuthatches feed on insects, nuts, and seeds. These birds often gather together in small flocks and cuddle together at night for warmth. Nesting occurs in any crevice or cavity they can find.


Appearance:

Small with extremely short tail and long beak. Almost looks like it has no tail. Bluish grey top parts, white/sandy colored underparts. Black eyestripe, grey-brown crown. 3 to 4 inches in length.


Habitat:

Pine forests. A good place to view them is Cuyamaca State Park.


Nesting:

5-9 white eggs with reddish-brown speckles and a 15-16 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 20-22 days after hatching. The nest is made from soft material placed in a cavity, typically 15' above the ground in a dead tree or stump.


Observed Locations:

  • Paso Picacho Campground, Cuyamaca State Park, Cuyamaca
  • Kitchen Creek Road, Mt. Laguna
  • MLO, Mount Laguna





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