Brown-headed Nuthatch Sitta pusilla Scientific name definitions

Gary L. Slater, John D. Lloyd, James H. Withgott, and Kimberly G. Smith
Version: 1.1 — Published August 18, 2021

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Figures from this Account

Figure 4. Annual cycle of the Brown-headed Nuthatch, Georgia.

Annual cycle of breeding and molt of Brown-headed Nuthatch for populations in Georgia and states at equivalent latitudes. Thick lines show peak activity; thin lines, off-peak. Prealternate molt takes place only in some individuals. The species is nonmigratory.

Figure 1. Distribution of the Brown-headed Nuthatch.
Figure 2. Tool use.

The Brown-headed Nuthatch is one of the few species of passerine birds known to make use of tools. This species occasionally uses loose flakes of bark to pry up attached flakes, exposing hidden insects. Drawing by T. Henneberg.

Figure 3. Brown-headed Nuthatch vocalizations.

A. Rubber Ducky Vocalization. B. One type of Serial Vocalization. C. Single-Note Vocalizations. Prepared by Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics (BLB nos. 4523, 4520, 4523, respectively; all from Greensboro, NC, 16 Apr 1960). Sonograms were prepared on a Kay Elemetrics DSP 5500 Sonagraph with an effective band width of 600 Hz (100 pt. transform size).

Figure 6. Relative abundance of the Brown-headed Nuthatch during the breeding season, based on BBS data.

Based on data from the Breeding Bird Survey, 1994-2003.  From Sauer et al. 2008, which provides details.

Figure 7. Regional trends in Brown-headed Nuthatch populations; data from the Breeding Bird Survey, 1996-2003.

Data show best estimates of population change for the species over its range; from Sauer et al. 2008, which provides details.

Recommended Citation

Slater, G. L., J. D. Lloyd, J. H. Withgott, and K. G. Smith (2021). Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla), version 1.1. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.bnhnut.01.1