Red-breasted Nuthatch

photo by Phil Swanson

Sitta canadensis
L 4 1/2″ (11 cm).

Song or calls:
High, nasal “yank-yank-yank;” resembles tooting of a tin horn.
Listen (NGPC audio)

Description: Blue-gray above; black cap and eye line; white eyebrow; rusty breast, belly, and undertail coverts. Females and juveniles have a duller head and paler underparts.

red breasted nuthatch
Habitat: Found in coniferous forests, conifer plantations, and mixed woodlands. Also appears at feeding stations during winter.

Where in Nebraska: Common winter visitor in eastern Nebraska and the Pine Ridge area. Generally uncommon elsewhere in the state. Possible breeder in the Pine Ridge.

Field Notes: Tends to be an irruptive migrant, with numbers and winter range varying widely from year to year.

Fun Facts: Red-breasted Nuthatches hoard excess food by wedging nuts into bark and then hammering it in with its bill.

Red-breasted Nuthatch - photo by Phil Swanson Red-breasted Nuthatch - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)