/nut"hach'/, n.
any of numerous small, short-tailed, sharp-beaked birds of the family Sittidae that creep on trees and feed on small nuts and insects.
[1300-50; ME notehache, nuthagge, nuthak, lit., nut hacker. See NUT, HACK1]

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Any of about 22 species (genus Sitta, family Sittidae) of songbirds that are 4–7.

5 in. (9.5–19 cm) long and have a short, square tail, short neck, and thin, pointed bill. Most are forest dwellers; some live in rocky areas. Nuthatches search tree trunks and rocks for insects, often descending headfirst. They also eat seeds, which they may store for winter. The nest is a grass-or hair-lined cavity. Nuthatches are most common from Eurasia to Japan and southward; four species occur in North America. Most are bluish above and white or reddish below; there may be a black eye stripe or a cap.

European nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Bruce Coleman Ltd.

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      any of about 25 species of short-tailed, long-billed birds (bird) in the family Sittidae (order Passeriformes (passeriform)), known for their abilities to grip tree bark as they walk up, down, and around trunks and branches and to hang upside down on the underside of tree limbs as they forage for insects (insect) and seeds. For their abilities they are sometimes called “upside-down birds.” By exploring in areas ignored by many other birds, such as woodpeckers (woodpecker) (which travel up trees but not down), they find insects hidden in bark that other species overlook.

      Nuthatches exploit crevices in other ways. They often store seeds in bark crevices and remember their locations for months. They also use crevices to hold a hard seed in place while “hacking it”—using the full force of their bodies to pound on the seed with their bills. All species are cavity nesters.

      Nuthatches live around the world, except in South America. The best-known species in North America are the red-breasted nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), a stubby, grayish, rufous-breasted, 10-gram (0.35-ounce) bird that often boldly approaches humans in northern conifer groves (coniferous forest), and the white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis), a grayish, black-capped, white-breasted, 21-gram (0.74-ounce) bird that often frequents feeders, where it relishes sunflowers (sunflower) and suet.

Sy Montgomery

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nuthatch — Nut hatch , n. [OE. nuthake. See 2d {Hack}.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of birds of the genus {Sitta}, as the European species ({Sitta Europ[ae]a}). The {white breasted nuthatch} ({Sitta Carolinensis}), the {red breasted nuthatch}… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nuthatch — (n.) mid 14c., probably so called from its habit of breaking open and eating nuts; from NUT (Cf. nut) + second element related to HACK (Cf. hack) (v.) and HATCHET (Cf. hatchet) …   Etymology dictionary

  • nuthatch — [nut′hach΄] n. [ME notehach < note, nutte, NUT + * hache < hacken, HACK1] any of various small passerine birds (family Sittidae) with a sharp beak and a short tail, usually searching for insects by moving down tree trunks …   English World dictionary

  • Nuthatch — Nuthatches A Eurasian Nuthatch climbing a tree trunk in search of food Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • nuthatch — bukučiai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Sitta angl. nuthatch vok. Kleiber, m rus. настоящий поползень, m; поползень, m pranc. sittelle, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – bukutiniai siauresnis terminas – alžyrinis bukutis… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • nuthatch — noun Etymology: Middle English notehache, from note nut + hache; akin to Old English tohaccian to hack more at hack Date: 14th century any of various small tree climbing chiefly insectivorous birds (family Sittidae and especially genus Sitta)… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nuthatch — noun Any of various small passerine birds from the family Sittidae found throughout the Northern hemisphere that have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first …   Wiktionary

  • nuthatch — n. small blue gray bird which climbs down trees eating insects and seeds …   English contemporary dictionary

  • nuthatch — noun a small songbird, typically grey backed with pale underparts, which climbs up and down tree trunks. [Sitta europaea and related species.] Origin ME: from nut + obs. hatch (rel. to hack1) …   English new terms dictionary

  • nuthatch — nut·hatch …   English syllables

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