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Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch. Photo by Ben Childers/RPS 2021
Ben Childers/RPS 2021



A small bird with grayish-blue plumage on wings, back and tail. Across the top of the head, males have a black crown. Females have a gray crown. On the face is a white eyebrow line and a black line through the eye. The chest and belly area is a soft rusty orange color.


4 inches long. 7-8 inch wingspan.


An uncommon or rare winter visitor that can potentially be found in any forested habitat, especially where pines are present. Can be found in urban and residential areas with mature trees and pine trees. They can be found statewide from late September to late April, but are most commonly seen in eastern Oklahoma. Their numbers vary dramatically from year to year depending upon food supply and weather conditions.

Life Cycle

At feeders red-breasted nuthatches eat black-oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, suet and miracle meal. Away from feeders they forage on insects, acorns, pine seeds and other large seeds. Nuthatches are usually seen alone or in pairs foraging along the trunks and branches of trees like a small woodpecker. They have the unique ability to move headfirst down tree trunks and often search trees from top to bottom. They are most likely to use hanging or pole-mounted feeders placed near mature trees.

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