Sociable birds, Pygmy
Nuthatches are most often seen in small groups as they forage for pine seeds and
insects. Their social behavior extends to the breeding season, when nests
may have "helper" birds which assist the mating pair in bringing food
to the young. Rarely found away from pine forests of the western U.S.,
they are typically only found in the Black Hills in South Dakota.
Habitat: Found primarily in ponderosa pine
forests. They can also occasionally be found in other types of pine
forests, in pinyon-juniper woodlands, and in redwood canyons.
Diet: Primarily feeds on insects in the summer.
The winter diet includes many seeds, especially pine seeds.
Behavior: Usually feeds quite high in pine trees,
climbing along main trunks and branches as well as the tips of the branches.
Will also sometimes observe from a perch and fly out to catch passing
Nesting: April through June
Song: Wide variety of warning and flight calls,
often given in near-unison as small groups move.
Migration: Generally a permanent resident throughout their
range, but may move to lower elevations in years with a poor pine-seed
Feeders: Will attend feeders for various nuts and
Conservation Status: Generally stable, although local declines evident in
areas of heavy logging.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Pygmy Nuthatch"
Photo Information: September 9th, 2006 - Near
Greer, Arizona - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Pygmy Nuthatch photos.