Sisters Country birds


Last updated 8/2/2022 at Noon


Pygmy Nuthatch

Walking through central Oregon’s ponderosa forests, the twittering and chirping one is most likely to hear is the Pygmy Nuthatch, feeding on insects while climbing all over the ponderosa and lodgepole pines. The Pygmy Nuthatch (Sitta pygmaea), chatters its high-pitch staccato call year-round, gleaning insects and seeds as it forages the entire tree from trunk to needles.

This tiny bird, 3.75 to 4.5 inches, is monogamous, bonding year-round with its mate. Both male and female help in excavating nesting cavities in dead trees and also employ helpers in the nesting and the feeding of their young. The average nest contains 5-9 white with tones or red or purple eggs, witch require 12-17 days to hatch and then another 14 days being fed before fledging the nest.

When breeding season ends the Pygmies will form flocks combining several family groups. As the winter cold begins they will roost together to assist in maintaining body heat. As many as 150 individuals have been found in a single roosting cavity, and the Pygmy Nuthatch can enter a torpor state to resist the extreme cold temperature. A group of nuthatches are known as “jar” of nuthatches.

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