White-breasted Nuthatch

White breasted nuthatch for identification

White-breasted Nuthatches are small, noisy birds with clean and clear blue-gray markings.

White-breasted Nuthatches are active little birds that are gray-blue on the back and white on the face, breast, and belly, with a black cap. They will often have a chestnut color on the lower belly and under the tail.

  • Sitta carolinensis
  • Length: 5.1 – 5.5 in (13 – 14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6 – 1.1 oz (18 – 30 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9 – 10.6 in (20 – 27 cm)


White-breasted Nuthatches live all year in the US and southern Canada.

Habitat And Diet

You can find White-breasted Nuthatches in deciduous forests, woodland edges, parks, and yards with trees or at feeders. They mainly eat insects, including beetles and their larvae, caterpillars, ants, and also spiders.

White-breasted Nuthatches also eat seeds and nuts, including acorns, hawthorns, sunflower seeds, and sometimes corn crops. They jam large nuts and acorns into tree bark and then whack them with their bills to open or ‘hatch’ them to get the seed out.

White-breasted Nutcracker Call:


Nests of White-breasted Nuthatches are usually built in natural tree cavities or they reuse old and abandoned woodpecker holes. While the females don’t excavate the cavity, they do line them with fur, bark, and dirt and then build a nest cup with grass, shredded bark, feathers, and other soft material.

The female will typically lay five to nine eggs and incubates them for thirteen to fourteen days.


Attract White-breasted Nuthatches to your backyard with sunflower seeds and peanuts on tube feeders or suet feeders.

Fun Fact:

White-breasted Nuthatches have nine subspecies. Those in the western areas have the darkest upperparts while those in the eastern areas have the palest.