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The Brown-headed Nuthatch
, Sitta pusilla
, is a small (approximately 3.5 in (8.9 cm) in length) songbird
A songbird is a bird belonging to the suborder Passeri of the perching birds . Another name that is sometimes seen as scientific or vernacular name is Oscines, from Latin oscen, "a songbird"...
found in pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...
forests throughout the Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....
. An endangered population occurs in the pineyards of Grand Bahama
Grand Bahama is one of the northernmost of the islands of the Bahamas, and the closest major island to the United States, lying off the state of Florida. Grand Bahama is the fifth largest island in the Bahamas island chain of approximately 700 islands and 2,400 cays...
; some authorities consider it to represent a separate species, S. insularis
. The bird, like other nuthatch
The nuthatches are a genus, Sitta, of small passerine birds belonging to the family Sittidae. Characterised by large heads, short tails, and powerful bills and feet, nuthatches advertise their territory using loud, simple songs...
es, possesses a sharp black nail
In woodworking and construction, a nail is a pin-shaped, sharp object of hard metal or alloy used as a fastener. Formerly wrought iron, today's nails are typically made of steel, often dipped or coated to prevent corrosion in harsh conditions or improve adhesion...
-like beak, which it uses to pound open seeds. It is a frequent visitor to feeding stations and is highly fond of sunflower
Sunflower is an annual plant native to the Americas. It possesses a large inflorescence . The sunflower got its name from its huge, fiery blooms, whose shape and image is often used to depict the sun. The sunflower has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves and circular heads...
seeds and suet
Suet is raw beef or mutton fat, especially the hard fat found around the loins and kidneys.Suet has a melting point of between 45° and 50°C and congelation between 37° and 40°C....
Bold and inquisitive, this bird is readily approachable by humans. The bird is frequently observed using a small chip of bark held in its beak as a tool to dig for insects.
This species of nuthatch sports a brown cap with narrow black eyeline and buff white cheeks, chin, and belly. Its wings are bluish-gray in color. A small white spot is found at the nape of the neck. The bird's call is a sharp whee-hyah
sounding very similar to a "rubber duck
A rubber duck is a toy shaped like a stylised Yellow-billed Duck , and is generally yellow with a flat base. It may be made of rubber or rubber-like material such as vinyl plastic...
" toy and particularly is loud for a bird its size. They also make softer "pit pit pit"
calls while in flight as well as other squeaking noises.