Fun Red Breasted Nuthatch Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Nov 17, 2022 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Red-Breasted Nuthatch facts, an interesting bird guide.

The Red-Breasted Nuthatches are known as the birds of North America. If forage is not available in the north, a flock of Nuthatches migrates to the south of North America for the season. This movement is known as an irruption.

They can climb down the tree trunks, which allow them to find food often missed by other birds. They quickly scan the tree trunks and branches.

The Sitta canadensis are known for their territorial nature during the breeding months. Some pairs even remain together throughout the winter to defend their territories and forage. In the winter, they mostly remain in their nest.

The male and female Nuthatches can be distinguished based on the cap and underpart. The Red-breasted Nuthatch female has a bluish-black cap, and underparts are paler. In comparison, the males are known to be brighter than the females. The young ones have head markings, and the underparts look dull.

If you love reading about this beautiful bird, enjoy reading our bird guide about other bird species like birds of paradise and barn owl.

Red-Breasted Nuthatch Interesting Facts

Amaze-wing Facts About The Red Breasted Nuthatch For Kids

What type of animal is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch?

The Red-Breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis are birds that are aggressive, especially during the breeding season when protecting their nests and forage. It chases away larger birds like Downy woodpeckers entering its territory. The Nuthatches were even found to bully the House wren.

What class of animal does a Red-Breasted Nuthatch belong to?

The Red-Breasted Nuthatches are birds. It belongs to the class- Aves, order- Passeriformes, family-Passeriformes, and scientific name is Sitta canadensis.

How many Red-Breasted Nuthatches are there in the world?

The exact number is not known since they are found in abundance in the whole of North America. There are about four similar species of nuthatches found in North America's forests. They are popularly known as the North American birds.

Where does a Red-Breasted Nuthatch live?

The Nuthatches live in the woods and forests. They are native to North America.

The Red-Breasted Nuthatches are the only species that migrate. The Red-Breasted Nuthatch range from South of Alaska to North of California during the breeding season and from South Tennessee to North Carolina in North America. You can find them in the South of Arizona, Texas, North of Florida, New Mexico, and Gulf Coast in winter.

What is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch's habitat?

The Red-Breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis habitat comprises matured, mixed coniferous-deciduous forests or open coniferous trees for breeding. They usually like to nest on tall trees with a dense canopy and many saplings. The main reason behind choosing tall and dense trees is to protect themselves from predators and get various food.

The Nuthatch birds don't like trees with smooth barks. They prefer incense cedar and ponderosa pine, as they have rough barks. These rough pieces of bark are comprised of insects that the Nuthatches eat.

Who do Red-Breasted Nuthatches live with?

The Nuthatch birds live alone or in a family or with mixed songbirds.

How long does a Red-Breasted Nuthatch live?

The Nuthatches have an average lifespan of around six years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding range of Nuthatches ranges from Southern to Northern Carolina. These North American birds start to breed when they are one year old. Both the male and female build nest together.

They dig out a part of a dead tree branch or build the nest in an old woodpecker nest hole. The Nuthatches protect the rest with resin to keep away insects, other birds, and small mammals from their nest. They fill the nest hole with grasses, plant fibers, mosses, roots, and ripped pieces of bark.

The breeding season starts from April to August. The female lays around five to eight eggs which are pinkish white and have reddish-brown spots.

The female lays one egg per day. Each breeding pair raises one clutch per year. During the incubation period, the male is responsible for bringing the food. It gives the female more time to incubate the eggs.

The eggs hatch after 12-13 days. The male Nuthatches are responsible for feeding the females and the chicks. After 18-21 days, the chicks finally leave the nest and become fully independent after two weeks.

The newly born young ones are immobile and have closed eyes. The female incubates the young ones for one week after they are born. Both the parents are responsible for feeding their chick till they are independent. They also remove the defecation sac from the nest.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Red-Breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis is Least Concern, as stated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Nuthatches are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 in America.

Red Breasted Nuthatch Fun Facts

What do Red Breasted Nuthatches look like?

The Nuthatches are small birds with a tight body, long narrow bill, beautiful wings, short tails, and necks. They have strong claws and toes that allow them to climb or hang upside down. They are about 11.5 cm in length, and their weight is around 10 g.

The Sitta canadensis are the only ones in North American birds with a broad black stripe surrounding the eye area and above it a white stripe. The chin, cheek, and side of the neck are white. Also, a beautiful black cap is located on the head.

The wings are long and look pointed with 10 primary feathers. The outer wings are covered with dark stripes, and the tail comprises white bands. The underpart is rusty, and the back is bluish-gray.

How cute are they?

The Sitta canadensis are small, cute, and energetic bird species. They have a unique black and white head pattern. The underpart is paler, and the back is covered with bluish-gray feathers. The males look brighter.

The Nuthatches are usually built their nest in the coniferous or mixed-deciduous forests. They also live in a mixed group of other songbirds. The Nuthatch Red-Breasted bird species move around the trees' branches, often upside down. They make soft nasal calls.

How do they communicate?

The Sitta canadensis use vocal communication and physical displays. The Red-breasted Nuthatch sound like 'yank-yank'. The Red-breasted Nuthatch song is made of a series of short nasal notes.

Each song comprises more than six notes. Unmated males usually sing them, but other females and males also sing the same song.

The Red-breasted Nuthatch call is so low that others do not often hear them. The 'yank-yank' calls are also means of communicating between the pairs. The calls of the Sitta canadensis are more nasal than the White-Breasted Nuthatch bird species.

Also, males threaten their opponents by dropping the wings, raising the feathers to the top of the head, and keeping their tails straight. They also lower their head and swing the tail forward and backward. When it's winter, the Nuthatches sometimes join other flocks of birds of mixed species.

How big is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch?

The Red-breasted Nuthatches are 4.5 in (11 cm) long. The Sitta canadensis is two times smaller than the White-Breasted Nuthatch.

How fast can a Red-Breasted Nuthatch fly?

The Nuthatches fly very fast. When flying in high wind, the Nuthatches can fly up to 45 m high. As they try to reach a high level in the atmosphere to navigate quickly, the Nuthatches can fly at a maximum speed of 32 km/h.

How much does a Red-Breasted Nuthatch weigh?

The Sitta canadensis (order Passeriformes family) weight is 0.4 oz (9.9 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male species is known as male Red-breasted Nuthatch, and the female species is known as female Red-breasted Nuthatch.

What would you call a baby Red-Breasted Nuthatch?

The baby Nuthatches are known as young Red-breasted Nuthatches.

What do they eat?

The Red-breasted Nuthatch diet comprises the seeds of conifers and insects like wasps, beetles, moths, caterpillars, insect eggs, and crane flies. During the breeding season, they are found to eat arthropods, and in the winter season, they feed on the seeds of conifers. The young ones feed on insects.

The Nuthatches are known as bark-gleaning birds. They search for their food in the trees' bark, branches, and stumps. The Nuthatches store their food for the winter season and hide it in the tree trunks and sometimes on the ground.

Are they dangerous?

No, the Nuthatches are not dangerous. These North American bird species are found to visit the bird feeders. When they visit, their head is often found downwards.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, the Nuthatches (order Passeriformes family) would make a good pet. As domesticated pets, their habitat comprises birdhouses. The birdhouse is placed on top of a tree. It is safe and protected from predators so that the birds feel secure.

Did you know...

The Sitta canadensis is known as Nuthatch because of its ability to open the nuts and seeds. The word may be a Eurasian word.

The Sitta canadensis birds can chip bark with its crevices. They often hammer with its crevice to tear the bark of trees and break food apart with its bark crevices.

The Sitta canadensis have soft voices, whereas the White-Breasted Nuthatch have loud voices.

Where do Nuthatches like to nest?

The Red-Breasted Nuthatch nest on the trunks and branches of the conifers or the uninhibited woodpecker nest hole is often found to enlarge these holes. The Nuthatches often use tall and dense conifers to protect themselves from their predators and forage. The rough bark trees provide a habitat for insects.

Who eats the Red-Breasted Nuthatch?

The Sitta canadensis are preyed upon by large birds and other mammals like Merlins, Spotted Owls, Sharp-Shinned Hawks, Squirrels, Copper's Hawks, Northern Pygmy-Owls, and Weasels. The House Wrens, Weasels, Steller's Jay's, Gray-Necked Chipmunks, and mice are known to eat the Nuthatches' eggs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including secretary bird, or great green macaw.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Red Breasted Nuthatch coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

Yashvee Patel picture

Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

Read full bio >