• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer
Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Brown-headed Nuthatch


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

One of the few birds found almost exclusively in the United States, the Brown-headed Nuthatch is restricted to the pine forests of the southeastern states. A small but declining population is also found in the Bahamas.

YardMap Be on the Map
Subscribe to Living Bird Magazine


Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small nuthatch; climbs headfirst down tree trunks.
  • Crown dull brown.
  • Underparts whitish.
  • Back, nape, wings, and rump blue gray.

Immature Description

Immature similar to adult, but duller and with more gray and less brown. White neck spot indistinct or absent.

Range Map Help

Brown-headed Nuthatch Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

Similar Species

  • Pygmy Nuthatch has gray-brown cap, white at base of central tail feathers, blacker eyestripe, and a less distinct white nape patch. Ranges do not overlap.
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch larger, has white eyestripe, black or dark gray crown, and is reddish underneath.

    Backyard Tips

    Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.

    You Might Also Like

    eBird Occurrence Maps, Brown-headed Nuthatch