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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

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Maximum longevity: 7.5 years (wild)
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The word 'nuthatch' may come from a Eurasian relative's fondness for hazelnuts, or for their ability to hack open nuts and seeds.

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Kari Kirschbaum, Animal Diversity Web
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Behavior

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Red-breasted nuthatches use a variety of physical displays and vocalizations to communicate. The most common call of red-breasted nuthatches is a nasal "yank-yank" call that has been describes as sounding like a small tin horn. Both males and females have a broad range of other calls that are softer and used less frequently.

Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Kari Kirschbaum, Animal Diversity Web
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Conservation Status

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Populations of red-breasted nuthatches are increasing overall, but declining locally in some areas. Red-breasted nuthatches depend on habitat with standing dead trees and a variety of species. Logging and management practices that remove dead trees or reduce plant diversity have a negative impact on nuthatch populations.

US Migratory Bird Act: protected

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Kari Kirschbaum, Animal Diversity Web
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Benefits

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Red-breasted nuthatches have no known negative effect on humans.

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Benefits

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Red-breasted nuthatches eat a variety of insects, including beetles, wasps, and flies, that humans consider to be pests.

Positive Impacts: controls pest population

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Associations

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Adams and Morrison (1993) reported that red-breasted nuthatches may be important in the seed dispersal and germination of forest trees, based on observations of seed caching (localized storaging of food).

Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Trophic Strategy

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Red-breasted nuthatches' diet consists of pine, spruce, and other conifer seeds and insects including beetles, wasps, caterpillars, crane flies, moths, and insect eggs. In general, the diet consists of mostly arthropods during the breeding season, and conifer seeds during the non-breeding season. The young are fed exclusively insects.

Nuthatches are bark-gleaning birds. They primarily forage on trunks, but also use a wide variety of substrates including branches, stumps, and the ground. They break food apart by wedging it into bark crevices and breaking smaller pieces off, or by prying seeds open with their strong beaks.

Nuthatches regularly store food during the fall and winter. They cache food under bark, in holes in tree trunks, and sometimes on the ground. They obtain water by drinking from small pools of water.

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts

Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore ); omnivore

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Kari Kirschbaum, Animal Diversity Web
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Distribution

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Sitta canadensis is native throughout the Nearctic region. It is the only migratory species in the family Sittidae. Its northern breeding range includes southeast Alaska, southern Yukon, southeast Mackenzie Valley, central Quebec, and Newfoundland in Canada. In the United States it breeds from central Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Michigan, and the southern Oregon border to northern California. On the east coast S. canadensis breeds from southern New York through Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. It migrates irregularly to southern Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and northern Florida to the Gulf Coast.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Kari Kirschbaum, Animal Diversity Web
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Habitat

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Red-breasted nuthatches prefer mature, partly open coniferous or mixed conifer-deciduous stands for breeding. They favor stands that have a tall, dense canopy and a dense understory of saplings. This structure provides protection from unfavorable environmental conditions and predators, and provides a greater abundance of arthropods.

Researchers found that nuthatches prefer ponderosa pine and incense cedar, which both have a rough bark surface that supports a diversity of arthropods. Smooth bark species, such as black oak and white fir are not visited regularly by nuthatches.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: forest

Other Habitat Features: suburban

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Kari Kirschbaum, Animal Diversity Web
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Life Expectancy

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The oldest known red-breasted nuthatch lived for at least 7 years and 6 months.

Range lifespan
Status: wild:
7.5 (high) years.

Average lifespan
Status: wild:
90 months.

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Kari Kirschbaum, Animal Diversity Web
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Morphology

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Red-breasted nuthatches are small nuthatches with compact bodies, short tails and necks, and a long tapered bill. They have very sturdy toes and claws that allow them to climb down trees headfirst or to move along the undersides of branches with their back to the ground. They average 11.5 cm in length and have an average mass of 10 grams. This is the only North American nuthatch that has a broad black stripe through the eye and a white stripe above it. Other distinguishing characteristics include a black cap on the head, a bluish gray back, and an underside washed with a rusty red or brown color. The chin, cheeks, and sides of the neck are white and the tail is characterized by white bands and dark tips on the outer tail feathers. Their wings are long and pointed and have ten primary flight feathers.

There is little difference between the sexes, except the female has a bluish black cap and paler underparts. Juveniles are similar to adults, but their head markings and underparts are duller in color.

Average mass: 10 g.

Average length: 11.5 cm.

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; male more colorful

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Average mass: 11.2 g.

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Kari Kirschbaum, Animal Diversity Web
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Associations

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Red-breasted nuthatches are preyed upon by a number of bird and mammal species. Predators of adult red-breasted nuthatches include sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper's hawks, merlins, northern pygmy-owls, spotted owls, red squirrels and weasels. Steller's jays, housewrens, gray-necked chipmunks, weasels and mice are known predators of eggs and nestlings.

Red-breasted nuthatches defend their nest from predators by surrounding the entrance to the nest with pine pitch. They also join other small birds in mobbing potential predators, such as hawks and jays. When a nest is threatened, the female may jump out of her nest cavity and perch near the entrance to perform an anti-predator display. She spreads her wings and sways slowly back and forth to distract the predator from the nest.

Known Predators:

  • sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus)
  • Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii)
  • merlins (Falco columbarius)
  • northern pygmy-owls (Blaucidium gnoma)
  • spotted owls (Strix occidentalis)
  • red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
  • weasels (Mustela)
  • Steller's jays (Cyanocitta stelleri)
  • house wrens (Troglodytes aedon)
  • gray-necked chipmunks (Tamias cinereicollis)
  • white-footed mice and deer mice (Peromyscus)
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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Kari Kirschbaum, Animal Diversity Web
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Reproduction

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Red-breasted nuthatches are monogamous. They form breeding pairs beginning in winter or spring, and stay together for a year or more. Each pair defends a territory through the breeding season, and possibly through the year if the cone crop is good. In order to attract a female, males perform courtship displays that include raising their head and tail, drooping the wings, and fluffing the back feathers. A male sways from side to side and sings with his back turned toward the female. During courtship, males sing up to 50 times per minute from the tops of trees and potential nest trees. They also bring food to the female during courtship.

Mating System: monogamous

Red-breasted nuthatches begin breeding in their first year. Both adults take part in nest building. They usually dig a cavity in a tree stump or a branch of a dead tree, or occupy a vacant woodpecker hole. They use smeared resin to protect the inside of the nest, allowing just enough room for their body widths. This prevents insects, small mammals, and other birds from entering the nest cavity. Inside the cavity is a cup nest built with grasses, roots, mosses, shredded bark, and plant fibers.

Breeding occurs from mid-April through early August, with peak activity from May through July. Red-breasted nuthatches raise one brood per year. The female lays 5 to 8 (usually 6) pinkish-white eggs that are speckled with a reddish brown color. One egg is laid each day. The female incubates the eggs, which hatch after 12 to 13 days. During incubation, the male provides food to the female, allowing her to spend more time on the nest. After the eggs are hatched, the altricial nestlings are brooded for the first few days by the female. The male brings food to both the female and young. The young leave the nest 18 to 21 days after hatching. They become fully independent about 2 weeks after fledging.

Breeding interval: Red-breasted nuthatches breed once yearly.

Breeding season: Breeding occurs from mid-April through early August, with peak activity from May through July.

Range eggs per season: 5 to 8.

Average eggs per season: 6.

Range time to hatching: 12 to 13 days.

Range fledging age: 18 to 21 days.

Average time to independence: 14 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous

Average eggs per season: 5.

Because nuthatch chicks are hidden in nest cavities, little is known about the development. The newly hatched young are altricial, which means they are immobile, have closed eyes, and must be cared for by the adult. The female broods the chicks for the first week after hatching. During this time, the male brings food to the nest for the female and chicks. During the nestling and fledgling periods, both adults feed the chicks. They also remove the fecal sacs of the chicks from the nest. The chicks typically leave the nest 18 to 21 days after hatching, but may remain partially dependent on their parents for food for another two weeks.

Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning); pre-hatching/birth (Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female)

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Sands, C. 2003. "Sitta canadensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sitta_canadensis.html
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Cara Sands, Western Maryland College
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Randall L. Morrison, Western Maryland College
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Sitta canadensis

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A small (4 ½ inches) nuthatch, the male Red-breasted Nuthatch is most easily identified by its gray body, red breast, and black head with conspicuous white eye-stripes. Female Red-breasted Nuthatches are similar to males, but are duller and paler on the head and breast. This species may be separated from the similarly-sized Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) by that species’ brown head and white breast. The Red-breasted Nuthatch mainly occurs across southern Alaska and south-central Canada. This species’ range extends southward at higher elevations into the United States as far south as southern Arizona in the west and North Carolina in the east. The Red-breasted Nuthatch is mostly non-migratory, although small numbers may move south of this species’ main range in winters when food is scarce further north. Red-breasted Nuthatches primarily inhabit northern and high-mountain evergreen forests. At the southern end of this species’ range, particularly in the east, this species may also be found in mixed evergreen-deciduous woodland. Red-breasted Nuthatches mainly eat cone seeds, although small insects play a fairly large role in this species’ diet during the warmer months. In appropriate habitat, Red-breasted Nuthatches may be seen climbing headfirst up or down tree trunks while foraging for food. More often, it is this species’ tooting “ank” calls which alert birdwatchers to its presence. Red-breasted Nuthatches are primarily active during the day.

Threat Status: Least Concern

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Sitta canadensis

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A small (4 ½ inches) nuthatch, the male Red-breasted Nuthatch is most easily identified by its gray body, red breast, and black head with conspicuous white eye-stripes. Female Red-breasted Nuthatches are similar to males, but are duller and paler on the head and breast. This species may be separated from the similarly-sized Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) by that species’ brown head and white breast. The Red-breasted Nuthatch mainly occurs across southern Alaska and south-central Canada. This species’ range extends southward at higher elevations into the United States as far south as southern Arizona in the west and North Carolina in the east. The Red-breasted Nuthatch is mostly non-migratory, although small numbers may move south of this species’ main range in winters when food is scarce further north. Red-breasted Nuthatches primarily inhabit northern and high-mountain evergreen forests. At the southern end of this species’ range, particularly in the east, this species may also be found in mixed evergreen-deciduous woodland. Red-breasted Nuthatches mainly eat cone seeds, although small insects play a fairly large role in this species’ diet during the warmer months. In appropriate habitat, Red-breasted Nuthatches may be seen climbing headfirst up or down tree trunks while foraging for food. More often, it is this species’ tooting “ank” calls which alert birdwatchers to its presence. Red-breasted Nuthatches are primarily active during the day.

References

  • Ghalambor, Cameron K. and Thomas E. Martin. 1999. Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/459
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis). The Internet Bird Collection. Lynx Edicions, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.
  • Sitta canadensis. Xeno-canto. Xeno-canto Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.
  • eBird Range Map - Red-breasted Nuthatch. eBird. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, N.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

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Rumelt, Reid B. Sitta canadensis. June-July 2012. Brief natural history summary of Sitta canadensis. Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
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Red-breasted nuthatch

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The red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) is a small songbird. The adult has blue-grey upperparts with cinnamon underparts, a white throat and face with a black stripe through the eyes, a straight grey bill and a black crown. Its call, which has been likened to a tin trumpet, is high-pitched and nasal. It breeds in coniferous forests across Canada, Alaska and the northeastern and western United States. Though often a permanent resident, it regularly irrupts further south if its food supply fails. There are records of vagrants occurring as far south as the Gulf Coast and northern Mexico. It forages on the trunks and large branches of trees, often descending head first, sometimes catching insects in flight. It eats mainly insects and seeds, especially from conifers. It excavates its nest in dead wood, often close to the ground, smearing the entrance with pitch.

Taxonomy

In 1760 the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson included a description of the red-breasted nuthatch in his Ornithologie based on a specimen collected in Canada. He used the French name Le torchepot de Canada and the Latin Sitta Canadensis.[2] Although Brisson coined Latin names for the species, these usually do not conform to the binomial system and none of them are recognised by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.[3] When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition, he added 240 species that had been previously described by Brisson.[3] One of these was the red-breasted nuthatch. Linnaeus included a brief description and used Brisson's name Sitta canadensis as his binomial name.[4]

Like all nuthatches, the red-breasted nuthatch is assigned to the genus Sitta (Linnaeus, 1758),[5] a name derived from sittē (σίττη), the Ancient Greek word for the Eurasian nuthatch. The specific epithet canadensis is New Latin for "belonging to Canada".[6] "Nuthatch" is a linguistic corruption of "nuthack", referring to the bird's habit of wedging nuts into cracks in tree bark and hacking at them until they break open.[7] "Red-breasted" is a reference to the rusty colour of the male's underparts.[6]

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The nuthatch's habit of wedging seeds into cracks and hammering them open has given rise to its common name.

In the past, the red-breasted nuthatch and four other species — the Corsican nuthatch, the Chinese nuthatch, the Algerian nuthatch and the Krüper's nuthatch — were thought to be a single species.[8] These five make up a well-defined species group known as the "Sitta canadensis group", and are sometimes considered to be a superspecies.[9] Within the species group, DNA studies have shown that the red-breasted nuthatch, the Corsican nuthatch and the Chinese nuthatch make up one clade and the Algerian nuthatch and Krüper's nuthatch make up a sister clade.[10] The red-breasted nuthatch is monotypic across its extensive range.[9]

Description

The red-breasted nuthatch is a small passerine, measuring 4.5 in (11 cm) in length,[nb 1][12] with a wingspan of 8.5 in (22 cm) and a weight of 9.9 g (0.35 oz).[13] Its back and uppertail are bluish, and its underparts rust-colored. It has a black cap and eye line and a white supercilium (eyebrow). Sexes are similarly plumaged, though females and youngsters have duller heads and paler underparts.[12]

Voice

The red-breasted nuthatch's call is high-pitched, nasal and weak. Transcribed as yenk or ink,[13] they have been likened to a toy tin horn[12] or a child's noisemaker.[14] Its song is a slowly repeated series of clear, nasal, rising notes, transcribed as eeen eeen eeen.[13]

Habitat and range

Though it is primarily a full-time resident of northern and subalpine conifer forests, the red-breasted nuthatch regularly migrates irruptively, with both the number migrating and the wintering locations varying from year to year.[12] They sometimes reach northern Mexico, where they are rare winter visitors to Nuevo León, Baja California Norte and south along the Pacific slope as far as Sinaloa.[15] In the eastern United States, its range is expanding southwards.[12] Though formerly resident on Isla Guadalupe, an island off the western coast of Mexico, it appears to have been extirpated there, with the last known record of the species on the island dating from 1971. There is a single vagrant record for Mexico's Isla Socorro.[15] It is an extremely rare vagrant to Europe, with two records in the western Palearctic; one bird successfully overwintered in eastern England.[16]

Feeding behavior and diet

Like all nuthatches, the red-breasted nuthatch is an acrobatic species, hitching itself up and down tree trunks and branches to look for food.[12] It goes headfirst when climbing down. It can "walk" on the underside of branches. Unlike woodpeckers and creepers, it does not use its tail as a prop while climbing.[17] It tends to forage singly or in pairs.[15]

The red-breasted nuthatch's diet changes depending on the season. In the summer, it eats mostly insects, occasionally even flycatching, while in the winter, it switches to conifer seeds.[18] At feeders it will take sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and suet. It often wedges food pieces in bark crevices in order to break them up with the bill (as opposed to holding the food in their feet, like the black-capped chickadee does).

Breeding

The red-breasted nuthatch, like all nuthatches, is monogamous. The male courts the female with a peculiar display, lifting his head and tail while turning his back to her, drooping his wings, and swaying from side to side.

This bird excavates its own cavity nest, 1.53–37 m (5.0–121.4 ft) above ground (usually around 4.6 m (15 ft)). Excavation is by both sexes and takes one to eight weeks.[19] The pair smears sap around the entrance hole, presumably to help deter predators.[17] The nest is lined with grass, moss, shredded bark and rootlets. Nest building is by both sexes, but mostly by the female.

The female lays 2–8 eggs (usually 5–6), which are white, creamy or pinkish, and covered with reddish-brown speckles. The eggs measure 0.6–0.7 in (1.5–1.8 cm) long by 0.4–0.5 in (1.0–1.3 cm) wide. Incubation is by the female and lasts 12–13 days.[20] The young are altricial and stay in the nest for 2–3 weeks, brooded by the female but fed by both sexes. Normally there is only one brood per year. Lifespan is around 6 years.

Conservation status and threats

Because of its large global range and its increasing population, the red-breasted nuthatch is rated as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.[1] In the Americas, it is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.[21]

Notes

  1. ^ By convention, length is measured from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail on a dead bird (or skin) laid on its back.[11]

References

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Sitta canadensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.old-form url
  2. ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Vol. 3. Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. pp. 592–594, Plate 29 fig 4. The two stars (**) at the start of the section indicates that Brisson based his description on the examination of a specimen.
  3. ^ a b Allen, J.A. (1910). "Collation of Brisson's genera of birds with those of Linnaeus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 28: 317–335.
  4. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1766). Systema naturae : per regna tria natura, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1, Part 1 (12th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 177.
  5. ^ Linnaeus, C (1758). Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata (in Latin). Holmiae. (Laurentii Salvii). p. 115. Rostrum subcultrato-conicum, rectum, porrectum: integerrimum, mandíbula superiore obtusiuscula. Lingua lacero-emarginata
  6. ^ a b Holloway, Joel Ellis (2003). Dictionary of birds of the United States: Scientific and Common Names. Portland, OR: Timber Press. p. 185. ISBN 0-88192-600-0.
  7. ^ "Nuthatch". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  8. ^ Elphick, Dunning and Sibley 2001, p. 435
  9. ^ a b Harrap 2008, p. 136
  10. ^ Pasquet, Eric (January 1998). "Phylogeny of the nuthatches of the Sitta canadensis group and its evolutionary and biogeographic implications". Ibis (Abstract). 140 (1): 150–156. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1998.tb04553.x.
  11. ^ Cramp, Stanley, ed. (1977). Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: Birds of the Western Palearctic, Volume 1, Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-19-857358-8.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Dunn, Jon L.; Alderfer, Jonathan, eds. (2006). National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (5th ed.). Washington DC: National Geographic. p. 341. ISBN 0-7922-5314-0.
  13. ^ a b c Sibley, David (2000). The North American Bird Guide. Mountfield, UK: Pica Press. p. 380. ISBN 1-873403-98-4.
  14. ^ Taylor, Richard Cachor (2010). Birds of Southeastern Arizona. Olympia, WA: R. W. Morse Company. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-9640810-7-9.
  15. ^ a b c Howell, Steve N. G; Webb, Sophie (1995). A Field Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. Oxford University Press. p. 553. ISBN 978-0-19-854012-0.
  16. ^ Dye, Keith; Fiszer, Mick; Allard, Peter (2009). Birds New to Norfolk. Sheringham, UK: Wren Publishing. pp. 340–342. ISBN 978-0-9542545-3-7.
  17. ^ a b Reed 2001, p. 437
  18. ^ Harrap, Simon; Quinn, David (1996). Tits, Nuthatches & Treecreepers. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 144–148.
  19. ^ Reed 2001, p. 436
  20. ^ "All About Birds: Red-breasted Nuthatch, Life History". Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  21. ^ "Birds Protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act". US Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 16 September 2011.

Cited texts

  • Reed, J. Michael (2001). "Nuthatches". In Elphick, Chris; Dunning Jr., John B.; Sibley, David (eds.). The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behaviour. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6250-6.
  • Harrap, Simon (2008). "Family Sittidae (Nuthatches)". In del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Christie, David (eds.). Handbook of Birds of the World, Volume 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-84-96553-45-3.

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Red-breasted nuthatch: Brief Summary

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The red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) is a small songbird. The adult has blue-grey upperparts with cinnamon underparts, a white throat and face with a black stripe through the eyes, a straight grey bill and a black crown. Its call, which has been likened to a tin trumpet, is high-pitched and nasal. It breeds in coniferous forests across Canada, Alaska and the northeastern and western United States. Though often a permanent resident, it regularly irrupts further south if its food supply fails. There are records of vagrants occurring as far south as the Gulf Coast and northern Mexico. It forages on the trunks and large branches of trees, often descending head first, sometimes catching insects in flight. It eats mainly insects and seeds, especially from conifers. It excavates its nest in dead wood, often close to the ground, smearing the entrance with pitch.

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Sittelle à poitrine rousse

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Sitta canadensis

La Sittelle à poitrine rousse (Sitta canadensis), aussi appelée Sittelle du Canada, est une espèce de passereau appartenant à la famille des Sittidae.

Chant de la Sittelle à poitrine rousse

Description

La sittelle à poitrine rousse mesure entre 10,2 et 12,4 cm de longueur. Elle a un bandeau noir qui traverse l'œil et contraste avec le sourcil blanc. Comme son nom l'indique, sa poitrine est de couleur rousse. Son dos est bleu-gris. Sitta canadensis a de courtes pattes et descend le long des troncs d'arbres la tête en bas. Son corps est aplati et sa tête est relativement grosse. La femelle se distingue du mâle par une couleur plus pâle de la poitrine et de la calotte. Elle est un peu plus petite que la Sittelle à poitrine blanche, qui mesure entre 13 et 15 cm. La sittelle à poitrine rousse est la seule sittelle du Canada qui ait une rayure superciliaire blanche. Elle émet un cri ,qui ressemble à "gniac-gniac-gniac", nasillard et plus aigu que celui de la Sittelle à poitrine blanche.

Habitat

La sittelle à poitrine rousse fréquente les forêts de conifères ou les forêts mixtes de préférence. En hiver, on peut la retrouver dans d'autres types de forêts, comme les forêts d'arbres à feuilles caduques. La majorité des individus de cette espèce sont sédentaires, cependant, quelques individus s'envolent vers le sud à l'arrivée du temps froid.

Alimentation

Durant l'hiver, la sittelle à poitrine rousse se nourrit essentiellement de graines de cônes de conifères. Elle visite les mangeoires où elle choisit les morceaux de suif, les graines et les noix. La sittelle à poitrine rousse a l'habitude de cacher de la nourriture dans les fentes de l'écorce des arbres. Ces provisions l'aident à passer au travers des périodes où la nourriture se fait moins abondante. Aux mangeoires, on peut assister à des comportements agressifs et des querelles. Ces oiseaux peuvent être apprivoisés. Elle se nourrit aussi d'insectes, de larves et d’œufs d'insectes qu'elle trouve sous l'écorce des arbres. Dans les vergers de l'ouest du Canada, sa présence permet d'atténuer la prolifération du psylle du poirier. Les propriétaires de ces vergers construisent des nichoirs pour attirer les sittelles et les inciter à s'installer sur leurs plantations.

Reproduction

La reproduction des sittelles à poitrine rousse se fait au printemps, de mai à juillet. Ces oiseaux sont monogames. Ils forment une paire à l'hiver ou au début du printemps et resteront ensemble pendant 1 an ou plus. Le couple n'aura qu'une ponte par année. Les sittelles à poitrine rousse défendent leur territoire durant la saison de la reproduction. Les 2 adultes sont impliqués dans la confection du nid. Le couple creuse une cavité dans des arbres vivants ou morts, ou utilisent un trou créé par un pic. Cette cavité mesure environ 20 cm de longueur et est tapissée de fragments d'écorce, de brins de foin, de racines et de poils. Les œufs sont déposés sur des copeaux au fond du nid. Le nid peut être creusée soit par le mâle ou la femelle. Il se situe à une hauteur variant entre 0,5 et 36 m. L'ouverture du nid est enduite de résine de conifères.

La femelle pond 4 à 7 œufs blanc pur, marqués de points brun rougeâtre. Elle ne pond qu'un œuf par jour et elle s'occupera de l'incubation qui durera 12 jours. Durant l'incubation, le mâle apportera de la nourriture à la femelle afin qu'elle puisse passer le plus de temps possible au nid. Les petits sont nourris d'insectes et de petits invertébrés pendant 2 ou 3 semaines. Ensuite, ils quittent le nid mais continuent de suivre les parents pendant encore quelques semaines.

Peu d'informations sont disponibles au sujet du développement des petits dans le nid.

Parasites

La Sittelle à poitrine rousse peut être l'hôte de certains parasites comme les protistes Leucocytozoon ou Trypanosoma[1].

Distribution géographique

 src=
Carte de répartition
  • Présent à l'année
  • Aire d'hivernage

La sittelle à poitrine rousse niche dans les forêts de conifères du sud-est de l'Alaska jusqu'à Terre-Neuve. Au sud, elle se retrouve jusqu'au sud de la Californie, au sud-est de l'Arizona, au Wyoming, au Dakota du Sud, au Minnesota, au Michigan, au Tennessee, en Caroline du Nord, dans l'État de New York et au Massachusetts.

Galerie

Notes et références

  1. (en) E.C. Greiner, G.F. Bennett, E.M. White et R.F. Coombs, « Distribution of the avian hematozoa of North America », Canadian Journal of Zoology, vol. 53,‎ 1975, p. 1762–1787
  • Peterson, R.T., Les oiseaux du Québec et de l'est de l'Amérique du Nord. Éditions Broquet, 5e édition revue et augmentée. (ISBN 978-2-89000-594-5)
  • Godfrey, W.E. (1989) Les oiseaux du Canada. Édition révisée, Éditions Broquet. (ISBN 2-89000-277-2), (ISBN 0-660-90265-6)

Annexes

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Sittelle à poitrine rousse: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia FR

Sitta canadensis

La Sittelle à poitrine rousse (Sitta canadensis), aussi appelée Sittelle du Canada, est une espèce de passereau appartenant à la famille des Sittidae.

Chant de la Sittelle à poitrine rousse
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