The nuthatches are a family, Sittidae, of generally very similar small passerine birds found throughout the Northern hemisphere. The nuthatch family, Sittidae, traditionally contained 23 species. The subfamily Sittinae held the 22 species of “true” nuthatches, and the subfamily Tichodromadinae held a single species, the unique Wallcreeper, Tichodroma muraria, which is now separated in its own family, Tichodromadidae. Most nuthatches are woodland birds, although a few species have adapted to rocky habitats. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike species such as woodpeckers which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet. Their shape is distinctive, and all species are recognizable as nuthatches if one has been seen. They are generally omnivorous, taking insects, nuts and seeds. Most are resident, but the Red-breasted Nuthatch migrates from the north of its range.








 
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Nests are in holes or crevices. In some species the size of the hole is reduced by the building of a mud wall.
This group gets its name from the habit of the Eurasian Nuthatch of wedging a nut in a crevice in a tree, and then hacking at it with its strong bill. The list of species below, all in the genus Sitta (Linnaeus, 1758), is probably the maximum. Some taxonomists consider that some of the indicated species are in fact conspecific.

Above Pictures From The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service














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