|Distribution map showing the forests used by the nuthatch in red|
The Algerian nuthatch (Sitta ledanti) is a small passerine bird which is the only bird species endemic to Algeria, where it is also the only nuthatch. It was first discovered on October 5, 1975 at the Djebel Babor mountain in the Petite Kabylie range in northern Algeria, by a team led by a young Belgian agronomist Jean-Pierre Ledant.
The Algerian nuthatch is a resident bird of four areas of mountain forest in northeast Algeria. Its range is limited by the availability of woodland, and it occurs only above 1,000m, with the population density increasing with altitude.
It feeds on insects and seeds, and seeds are also stored in food caches.
It has the ability, like other nuthatches, to climb down trees, unlike species such as woodpeckers which can only go upwards, but does not flycatch.
The Algerian nuthatch is 13.5 cm long, slightly smaller than the Eurasian nuthatch, and has the typical nuthatch big head, short tail and powerful bill and feet. It is blue-grey above, and buff below. The male has a black crown and eyestripe separated by a white supercilium. The female has a grey crown and eyestripe. Young birds are duller versions of the adults.
This territorial species nests in holes, usually in old pines, either self-excavated or old woodpecker nests.
The Algerian nuthatch has a kna call and a fluted quair-di, quair-di, quair-di, quair-di, quair-di, song.
This bird is officially endangered as it is restricted to just four breeding sites. The population is less than 2,000 pairs; the main threats are fire, grazing and tree-felling, which destroy the habitat.