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Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

The Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis) is a small passerine bird found in southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to South China and Indonesia. Its habitat is all types of woods, although open evergreen forest is optimal.

This bird has a typical nuthatch big head, short tail and powerful bill and feet. It is about 5 inches in length. It is violet-blue above, with lavender cheeks, and beige below and a whitish throat. The bill is red. There is a black patch on the forehead. The male has a black eye stripe. Females lack the eye stripe and are more beige below. The young are duller versions of the adult. The call is a repetitious “sit-sit-sit”.

It has the ability, like other nuthatches, to climb down trees. It is an active feeder on insects and spiders, and may be found in mixed feeding flocks with other passerines. Nests are in tree holes or crevices, lined with moss, fur and feathers, or grass. Often the nuthatch needs to enlarge the hole, but a large hole may have the size of its entrance reduced by the building of a neat mud wall. Three to six eggs are laid, white speckled with red.

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Velvet-fronted Nuthatch


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