|Western Rock Nuthatch|
The nuthatch family Sittidae traditionally contained 23 species. The subfamily Sittinae was the 22 species of “true” nuthatches, and the subfamily Tichodromadinae held a single species, the unique Wallcreeper, Tichodroma muraria, which is now usually separated as a separate family, Tichodromadidae.
Most nuthatches are woodland birds, although a few species have adapted to rocky habitats. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees, unlike species such as woodpeckers which can only go upwards.
Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet. Their shape is distinctive, and all species are recognizable as nuthatches if one has been seen.
They are generally omnivorous, taking insects, nuts and seeds. Most are resident, but Red-breasted nuthatch migrates from the north of its range.
Nests are in holes or crevices. In some species the size of the hole is reduced by the building of a mud wall.
This group gets its name from the habit of the Eurasian Nuthatch of wedging a nut in a crevice in a tree, and then hacking at it with its strong bill.
The list of species below is probably the maximum. Some taxonomists consider that some of the indicated species are in fact conspecific.