Skip to main content

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Silhouette NuthatchesNuthatches
Red-breasted NuthatchSitta canadensis
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Sittidae

Basic Description

An intense bundle of energy at your feeder, Red-breasted Nuthatches are tiny, active birds of north woods and western mountains. These long-billed, short-tailed songbirds travel through tree canopies with chickadees, kinglets, and woodpeckers but stick to tree trunks and branches, where they search bark furrows for hidden insects. Their excitable yank-yank calls sound like tiny tin horns being honked in the treetops.

More ID Info
image of range map for Red-breasted Nuthatch
Range map provided by Birds of the World
Explore Maps

Find This Bird

You can find Red-breasted Nuthatches by listening for their nasal, yammering call or for the sounds of a foraging flock of chickadees and other birds: nuthatches are often in attendance. Look along trunks and branches of trees for a bird wandering up, down, and sideways over the bark, and keep your eyes peeled for the Red-breasted Nuthatch’s bold black-and-white face pattern.

Other Names

  • Trepador Canadiense (Spanish)
  • Sittelle à poitrine rousse (French)

Backyard Tips

This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes including plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.

  • Cool Facts