Nuthatch family (Sittidae)
About the same size as the Tufted Titmouse, 5” long. Dark crown and nape, white face, gray back, short tail. Distinctive habit of feeding – creeps headfirst down tree trunks.
Nests in natural cavities in living trees. Also uses old woodpecker holes. Rarely excavates its own cavity. Eggs are white with dark marks. Clutch size – 6 eggs.
Call is a series of low nasal “ank ank” notes.
Sitta, sitte, Greek for “nuthatch”; carolinensis, for “of Carolina”, although it breeds throughout the United States. “Nuthatch”, from “hack”, for bird’s tendency to wedge a large nut into a crevice and hack it into small pieces.
In the Nature Park:
Year-round resident. During winter, White-breasted Nuthatches occur in mixed-species foraging flocks with Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, and Downy Woodpeckers.