The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a small songbird measuring 4.5 in (11 cm) long with a wingspan of 8.5 in (22 cm) and body mass of 9,9 g. The adult has blue-grey upperparts with rust colored underparts, a white throat and face with a black stripe through the eyes, a straight grey bill and a black crown and white eyebrow. Females and youngsters have duller heads and paler underparts.

Habitat and Distribution

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a full-time resident of northern and subalpine conifer forests.


It often wedges food pieces in bark crevices in order to break them up with the bill. At feeders it will take sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and suet.


This bird excavates its own cavity nest, 1.53 to 37 m above the ground. The nest is lined with grass, moss, shredded bark and rootlets. The female lays 2 to 8 eggs (usually 5 to 6), which are white, creamy or pinkish, and covered with reddish-brown speckles. Incubation is by the female and lasts 12 to 13 days.

Calls and Songs

Their call is high-pitched, nasal and weak. Transcribed as yenk or ink. Its song is a slowly repeated series of clear, nasal, rising notes, transcribed as eeen eeen eeen.