Sitta carolinensis carolinensis

Common Names: White-breasted nuthatch
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Nuthatches

Like other members of its genus, the white-breasted nuthatch has a large head, short tail, short wings, a powerful bill and strong feet. The adult male of the nominate subspecies, S. c. carolinensis, has pale blue-gray upperparts, a glossy black cap (crown of the head), and a black band on the upper back. The wing coverts and flight feathers are very dark gray with paler fringes, and the closed wing is pale gray and black, with a thin white wing bar. The face and the underparts are white. The outer tail feathers are black with broad diagonal white bands across the outer three feathers, a feature readily visible in flight. The female has, on average, a narrower black back band, slightly duller upperparts and buffer underparts than the male. Her cap may be gray, but many females have black caps and cannot be reliably distinguished from the male in the field.

The white-breasted nuthatch forages for insects on trunks and branches, and is able to move head-first down trees. Seeds form a substantial part of its winter diet, as do acorns and hickory nuts that were stored by the bird in the fall. The nest is in a hole in a tree, and the breeding pair may smear insects around the entrance as a deterrent to squirrels. Adults and young may be killed by hawks, owls and snakes, and forest clearance may lead to local habitat loss, but this is a common species with no major conservation concerns over most of its range.

They are a common bird in Connecticut, found near bird feeders, residential area, and in the forests.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings