Field Guide

Discover the diverse species of Oklahoma.

White-breasted Nuthatch

A small bird, slightly larger than a sparrow, with grayish-blue wings, back and tail. The face, throat, chest and belly are completely white. There is a black (in males) or dark gray (in females) crown across the top of the head. White-breasted nuthatches are often confused with the red-breasted nuthatch, which has rusty (breast, belly and sides) and a black line across the face and through the eye.
These birds are fairly common in mature oak and oak/pine forests. They can be found in residential neighborhoods with mature trees. White-breasted nuthatches occur year-round in the eastern two-thirds of Oklahoma. During the winter they can be found in western Oklahoma and the panhandle.
Life Cycle: 
At feeders white-breasted nuthatches eat black-oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, suet, and miracle meal. Away from feeders they eat insects, acorns and seeds.
5.1-5.5 inches in length. Wingspan of 7.9-10.6 inches.
How to Observe: 

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 down to the bottom. During the winter, they often join mixed-species flocks with Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice and kinglets. They are most likely to use hanging or pole-mounted feeders that are placed near mature trees.