114. Sitta kashmiriensis Brooks

(114) Sitta kashmiriensis Brooks.
Sitta kashmiriensis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 128.
This, the best known of all our Himalayan Nuthatches, breeds from the borders of Afghanistan to Garhwal. Fulton records it as very common between Dir and Chitral and on the Kafiristan Frontier at elevations up to 11,500 feet ; Whitehead also refers to it as common on the Safed Koh from 7,500 to 10,000 feet. Ward only mentions that it is found in Kashmir but he took many nests there in many places, so that it would appear to be widespread and very common. Jones does not record it from the Simla Hills but Whymper has met with it in Garhwal. The lowest elevation I have recorded for its. breeding is 4,500 feet by Whymper at Nairn Tal. Ward has taken nests at 8,000 and 9,000 feet and it probably breeds up to 10,000 feet.
They commence breeding in the end of April but they are not so early as most Nuthatches and the majority of eggs are laid in May. The nest-hole is nearly always situated in a tree at any height from 10 to 30 feet from the ground, while the tree selected may be either in open or deep forest or, nearly as often, one of a clump in well-wooded open country. Any hole may be used for the purposes of a nest and sometimes the deserted nesting-hole of a Woodpecker or Barbet is taken possession of. If the entrance is deemed too large if is reduced by masonry work until a circular hole about 1.1/2 inches, or less, is left. Sometimes this masonry is con¬tinued for some inches as a thin layer on the inside of the tree next the entrance. The masonry has never been carefully examined but some broken up by myself and melted showed small seeds and looked exactly like the mud or clay used by termites worked up with some sticky, glutinous berry. It is often very hard and defies one’s fingers to break it down, whilst at other times it is quite friable and comes away easily.
I have no record of its breeding in walls but it may do so- occasionally.
The normal clutch of eggs is five to seven but eight have been taken. They are quite typical Nuthatches’ eggs, generally well, and sometimes handsomely, marked. A clutch of seven taken by Col. K. Buchanan at Pahlgam is very handsome, one egg having a great red blotch about 5 x 5 mm. In shape they are rather longer and more compressed at the smaller end than most Nuthatches eggs, in addition to which they sometimes have a distinct gloss. Pale, feebly marked eggs must be exceptional lor I have seen none such.
Fifty eggs average 19.7 x 14.4 mm. : maxima 20.5 x 15.0 and 19.4 x 15.3 mm. ; minima 19.0 x 14.2 and 20.5 x 13.2 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
114. Sitta kashmiriensis Brooks
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Kashmir Or Brookss Nuthatch
Kashmir Nuthatch
Sitta cashmirensis
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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