White-breasted Nuthatch

photo by Phil Swanson

Sitta carolinensis
L 5 3/4″ (15 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Low, repeated, nasal “yank.” Song is whistled series on one pitch, “whee, whee, whee.”

Description: Sexes similar. Blue-gray above; white below; black crown and nape; all-white face; extent of rust below is variable.

Habitat: Generally found in fairly mature floodplain forests during the breeding season. During the rest of the year it inhabits a wider variety of habitats, and can also be seen at residential birdfeeders.

Where in Nebraska: Common permanent resident in eastern Nebraska. Breeds as far west as the Pine Ridge area and to at least Hall County along the Platte.

Field Notes: These birds are essentially nonmigratory, and will store food during the fall for winter in crevices behind loose tree bark.

Fun Facts: White-breasted Nuthatches creep down tree trunks head first in search of insects and other food.


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