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nuthatch

nuthatch (nŭt´hăch), common name applied to a number of Old and New World species of small birds of the genus Sitta, related to the titmouse and the creeper. The name refers to its habit of wedging nuts into crevices in trees and pecking them open. Nuthatches are unique in that they climb down tree trunks headfirst in their search for insects and spiders. Unlike the creepers, the nuthatches have straight bills and do not use their short tail feathers as a prop. Nuthatches are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Sittidae.

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Sittidae

Sittidae (nuthatches; class Aves, order Passeriformes) A family that comprises the one genus Sitta, although Tichadromadidae and Daphaenosittidae are sometimes placed in this family. Nuthatches are small birds, most of which have blue-grey upper-parts and a black crown or eye stripe. They have short tails, strong feet, and a long, pointed, tapering bill. They inhabit woodland and rocky areas, and climb up and down trees and rocks to feed on insects, spiders, seeds, and nuts. They nest in tree and rock cavities. There are 21 species found in Europe, Africa, Asia, and N. America.

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nuthatch

nut·hatch / ˈnətˌhach/ • n. a small songbird (genus Sitta, family Sittidae) with a long strong bill, a stiffened square-cut tail, and the habit of climbing down tree trunks headfirst. Its numerous species include the North American white-breasted nuthatch (S. carolinensis), with a gray back, black cap (male), black eyes, and white face and underparts.

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nuthatch

nuthatch Bird found in the Northern Hemisphere and occasionally in Africa and Australia. It is bluish-grey above and white, grey or chestnut underneath. It eats nuts, opening them with its sharp bill. It also feeds on insects, spiders, and seeds. Length: 9–19cm (3.5–7.5in). Family Sittidae.

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nuthatch

nuthatch XIV. ME. notehache, with later vars. in -hak, -hagge, which suggest deriv. from NUT and HACK1, †hag, HATCH2, with allusion to the bird's habit of cracking nuts.

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nuthatches

nuthatches
1. (Sitta) See Sittidae.

2. (coral-billed nuthatch, Hypositta coral-lirostris) See HYPOSITTIDAE.

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