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Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 12, 2021

17 Amaze-wing Facts About The Bahama Nuthatch For Kids

Discover cool and interesting Bahama nuthatch facts.

They are medium-sized bird species found in Bahama Islands, Florida, and Texas. Once feared extinct, it was found by Matthew Gardner. A team of researchers went on the island of Grand Bahama to rediscover the Bahama nuthatch, one of the most precious birds in the Western Hemisphere. The bird, a subspecies of brown-headed nuthatch, has been declining for decades due to habitat loss and invasive species.  Matthew Gardner, a master’s student with UEA, searched for about six weeks and had given up hope. Suddenly, he heard its distinctive call and saw the apparent shape of a nuthatch descending towards him. He said, "I shouted with joy."

If you like reading this, you can also learn about other animals like the nuthatch and red-breasted nuthatch for more.

Bahama Nuthatch Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Bahama nuthatch?

The Bahama nuthatch is a small songbird found usually in pine forests.

What class of animal does a Bahama nuthatch belong to?

These birds belong to the class of aves.

How many Bahama nuthatches are there in the world?

With the population decline, especially in the Grand Bahama Island, their population size is not evaluated yet. The species conservation efforts are already initiated in the Bahama forest.

Where does a Bahama nuthatch live?

Bahama nuthatches (Sitta pusilla) birds are endemic to the southeastern United States and Lucaya estates. They are located as far north as Virginia, as far west as Texas, and as far south as southern Florida. Their small, declining population is also found in the Grand Bahama Island pine forest.

What is a Bahama nuthatch's habitat?

These birds are usually found in the habitat of an open mature pine forest with thin understories. Places with regular prescribed burns are ideal for these birds as it keeps the understory clear and creates obstacles for nesting. They build nesting areas by digging holes in pine trees or by using dropped woodpecker cavities or birdhouses. Typically, these birds are found below 2296 ft (700 m) in elevation.

Who do Bahama nuthatches live with?

Bahama nuthatches (Sitta pusilla) are a social species that love to travel in small single-species flocks of four to five birds during the breeding season in the forest. In the non-mating season, they travel in multi-species flocks of 8-20 birds. Other bird species with whom they flock usually include Carolina chickadees, downy woodpeckers, pine warblers, brown creepers, and tufted titmice.

How long does a Bahama nuthatch live?

These bird species have a common lifespan of eight years in wild pine forests. The longest recorded lifespan for the species was nine years. In captivity, the maximum-recorded lifespan is six years.

How do they reproduce?

They are monogamous species of birds during the breeding season, and some hold on to the identical partner for a number of years. Pairs can dig their own nests in the soft, rotting wood of snags, but they depend upon woodpecker hollows or nesting boxes when snags are not available. You can see their nests are usually built less than 10 ft (3 m) off the ground. Some birds weatherproof their nests from the rain by filling in crevices with plant material. After the nest is constructed, the female bird lays three to nine eggs. Her mate supports her in caring for the young. Brown-headed nuthatches are territorial and are always ready to defend their nest.

What is their conservation status?

Their numbers are declining due to the massive destruction of pine forest habitats since they are endemic to this place. Logging kills the trees they need for foraging, and fire blocks new snags from being created. This causes a restriction to the nesting sites thus making them Critically Endangered. Another pine specialist species in the Southeast is the Red-cockaded woodpecker. This bird species in the Red list is listed as Endangered, and conservation efforts dedicated toward its habitat may provide advantages for the brown-headed nuthatches population as well.

Bahama Nuthatch Fun Facts

What do Bahama nuthatches look like?

Bahama nuthatch or brown-headed nuthatches are monomorphic, meaning males and females have a similar size and color. The young one also resembles adults in coloring and size. Their coloring consists of a faded brown crown and a whitish neck. Their back, wings, rump, and tail are blue-gray with darker colored feathers along with white markings. They are dull white from their chin to their undertail. They have a distinct black bar running horizontally through their eyes. The beak is long, thick, black, and pointed, helping them to use the bark of a tree as a tool to move their food.

Check out more amazing facts of Bahama nuthatch.
*Please note that this is an image of a European nuthatch, one of the subspecies of Bahama nuthatch. If you have an image of a Bahama nuthatch, please let us know at [email protected]

How cute are they?

They are very cute and adorable-looking birds of the Grand Bahama. Unlike woodpeckers, who use their stiff tails to balance on vertical covers, nuthatch birds can hold tight with just their legs. This trick helps them to walk up and down tree trunks.

How do they communicate?

Brown-headed nuthatch is able to sound within one day of hatching. This sound is clear and is likely used to receive the attention of their parents. Adult brown-headed nuthatches have several principal vocalizations used for long-distance communication, close communication, and warnings that solely exist between mates and females during courting.

Their distinctive call is a two-syllable sound, which sounds like a squeaky rubber duck. The noise can be more or less important depending on their level of excitement and joy; it is the only call that is heard from long ranges and is mostly used for distant conversations. Variations in these species are heard, which are soft, low chirps that can only be heard when they are close to each other and during foraging. Alarming sounds consist of a sharp, single-note call after perceiving a danger.

How big is a Bahama nuthatch?

Bahama nuthatch can grow up to 3-4 in (8-10 cm) and with a wingspan of 6-7 in (15-18 cm)

How fast can a Bahama nuthatch fly?

The nuthatch is a medium-sized bird species that cannot soar very high but are capable of flying swiftly especially during hunting and guarding.

How much does a Bahama nuthatch weigh?

The Bahama nuthatch (Sitta insularis) can weigh around 0.022 lbs (10 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female species of nuthatch bird do not have a particular name.

What would you call a baby Bahama nuthatch?

Like other birds, the nuthatch species baby is also known as a hatchling.

What do they eat?

In the warmer months, the brown-headed nuthatch originally eats insects such as cockroaches, grasshoppers, moths, beetles, and spiders. They also feed on beetle larvae, insect egg cases, and sunflower seeds. When food is larger in size to eat, they carry it to another location and beat it until it is ready to eat. In the colder months, when insects are infrequent, they eat pine seeds and break open pinecones to reach the seeds. These birds are known to save seeds by hiding them beneath flakes of bark on trunks or branches of pines.

Are they dangerous?

It is only a dangerous and aggressive bird when it comes to defending its nests. It may attack fiercely and can chase away larger birds.

Would they make a good pet?

This species is nearly at the edge of extinction. Their conservation has already begun. So, considering them as a pet is not a good idea. Also, if there is a backyard, then they can be attracted by keeping sunflower seeds in the bird feeder.

Did you know...

The surviving population of brown-headed nuthatches on Grand Bahama is limited to Lucaya Estates in the central portion of the pine forests, which is also destroyed for large-scale residential development.

What eats the Bahama nuthatch?

If you see the nests of Sitta pusilla insularis birds, they are always found on the ground. Therefore they are often preyed on by snakes and other animals such as cats, squirrels, raccoons, and larger birds. To protect the eggs, there is no special defense system; hence females protect the nest regularly to keep predators at bay.

Where are nuthatches found?

Nuthatches species are an all-year-round bird, fundamentally located in England and Wales and Grand Bahama island estates, with some recent entrance into southern parts of Scotland. Their preferred breeding and living grounds are mature, deciduous, and diverse woodland with old oak trees. They are especially regional birds and, once established in a particular locale, stick to the place and don't migrate.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these kagu facts and Andean condor facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable nuthatch coloring pages.

*Please note that this is an image of a European nuthatch, one of the subspecies Bahama nuthatch. If you have an image of a Bahama nuthatch, please let us know at [email protected]

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