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Nuthatches and Wall Creepers: Sittidae


Nuthatches and wall creepers eat mostly invertebrates (animals without backbones) such as insects, snails, spiders, and other similar animals. They forage (look for food) by climbing up and down on trees while using their bills to pick loose bark away in order to locate their prey on the surface and crevices (narrow cracks) of tree trunks. Nuthatches and wall creepers are the only tree-trunk foraging birds that climb up trees with their head downwards instead of upwards (thus, finding food missed by other birds such as woodpeckers). They climb back down by holding themselves with one foot on the bark while moving with the other, switching feet positions as they zigzag in their path. Foraging on rocks and in epiphytic mosses and lichens (plants that grow on another) also occurs. Arthropods (invertebrate animal with jointed limbs) are sometimes found in foliage from the ground or while in flight. During the winter, they also eat small fruits and seeds. Nuthatches and wall creepers use their bills to crack open seeds by wedging the seed into a small crevice and hitting it with the top of their bill. When food is plentiful, they store it for later use.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsNuthatches and Wall Creepers: Sittidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Red-breasted Nuthatch (sitta Canadensis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, WALL CREEPERS NUTHATCHES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS