277. Sitta europAea

277. Northern Nuthatch.
Sitta europoe, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 177 (1766) ; Dresser, iii. p. 169, pl. 118 ; Gadow, Cat. B. Br. Mus. viii. p. 342.
Spermeise, Noddehakker, Dan. ; Spetmeise Nodvackke, Norweg. ; Notvacka, Swed. ; pahkinanakkeli, Finn. ; Popolsen, Russ.
ad. (Sweden). Upper parts bright slate-blue ; lores and a broad streak passing through the eye to the back black, on the sides of the crown slightly bordered with hoary grey ; quills slaty brown externally margined with slaty blue ; central tail-feathers slate-blue ; the remainder black with a broad subterminal white band ; under parts white, the flanks rich chestnut-red, and the under tail-coverts margined with chestnut-red ; bill blackish horn ; lower mandible whitish ; legs yellowish grey ; iris brown. Culmen 0.85, wing 3.5, tail 2.0, tarsus 0.8 inch. Sexes similar, except that the female has the flanks paler, and the abdomen tinged with rufous buff.
Hab. Scandinavia and North Russia, east to the Ural, where it merges into S. uralensis, a very closely allied subspecies. In habits it is active and lively and climbs on the trunks and branches of the trees as actively as a Woodpecker searching amongst the crannies of the bark for its insect-food. It is generally seen singly or in pairs even in the winter, when it wanders about from place to place. It frequents woods, groves, and gardens, but does not affect pine-woods. Its call-note is a clear psitt, psitt, and in the spring it has a note not unlike the whistle of a curlew. It feeds on insects and their larvae, and in the winter, seeds and nuts, of which it is very fond, and not unfrequently lays up a store for winter use, and generally has a favourite hole in a branch where it fixes the nut and cracks it with its powerful bill. It nests in the hole of a tree, which it plasters up with clay, leaving a suitably large entrance hole, and in April or May deposits 6 to 9 eggs, which are white, more or less boldly spotted and blotched with bright red, in size averaging about 0.8 by 0.6.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
277. Sitta europAea
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Northern Nuthatch
Kashmir Nuthatch
Sitta cashmirensis
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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