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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.


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

    This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

    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

    Four Nuthatches, Four Ways to Make It Through a Cold Winter, All About Birds blog, February 27, 2015.



    Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
    bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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