Guest Author - Lisa Shea
There are two main types of nuthatches found in the US - the white-breasted nuthtach (Sitta corolinensis) and the red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis). The white version is found year round from Maine through Florida and Texas, while the red version only winters in the north, and summers in the southern states. The photos here are of the white-breasted nuthatch.
The primary difference between the two is that the white-breasted has a white breast and a black solid cap. The red-breasted has a golden colored breast, and a white stripe on its head, running just above the eye.
The key feature of nuthatches, which most people notice right away, is that nuthatches can go down a tree. They are able to cling to a tree head-downwards and walk down towards the ground. They love suet, and will also eat sunflower seeds and mixed seed.
Nuthatches whistle "whi-whi-whi-whi-whi" or, more often, call out an "Ankh-Ankh-Ankh" song.
There is also a brown-headed nuthatch that is smaller than other nuthatches, that lives in the southern US. It has a brown head and grey back.
Nuthatch Photos - On a Tree
Nuthatch Photos - On a Feeder
Nuthatch Video (176k MPG)
Nuthatch LONG Video (1mb MPG)
The second video is long, but worth it! The nuthatch grabs some suet, takes it up the tree, sticks it in the bark, and then nibbles on it. When he's done, he goes back for more and flies off!
Charlie's Angels and the Pygmy Nuthatch
Make your own Suet - a tasty Nuthatch treat