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White-Breasted Nuthatch

Sitta carolinensis

With head and bill slightly raised, even from seemingly impossible perches, few birds are as recognizable in profile as the White-Breasted Nuthatch.

White-Breasted Nuthatches creep along trunks and large branches, usually with head downward. We find these birds across most of the USA plus parts of Mexico and Canada. While their Red-Breasted cousins often excavate their own nest holes, these birds prefer to exploit the hard work of other birds, using abandon cavities to raise their young.

Breeding pairs will spend time together year-round and often mate for life. Science once believed these birds were conspecific to the White-Cheeked Nuthatch of the Himalayas, but studies have shown this is not the case. There are ten recognized subspecies of this bird ranging across North America.

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