Corsican nuthatch

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Corsican Nuthatch
SittaWhiteheadiKeulemans.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sittidae
Genus: Sitta
Species: S. whiteheadi
Binomial name
Sitta whiteheadi
Sharpe, 1884

The Corsican nuthatch (Sitta whiteheadi) is a small passerine bird which is endemic to Corsica, where it is the only nuthatch.

The Corsican nuthatch is a resident bird of the mountain forests of Corsica, and is closely associated with Corsican pine preferably with some very old trees aged 300 years or more for nesting.

It feeds on insects and seeds, especially those of the Corsican pine, which are 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, and will also flycatch.

The Corsican nuthatch is 12 cm long, 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 in old Corsican pines, which are usually self-excavated. Five to eight eggs are laid, white speckled with red.

The Corsican Nuthatch has a pu-pu-pu call and a trilled hididididididi song.

The population is about 2,000 pairs; the main threats are fire, which destroys the habitat, and predation by great spotted woodpeckers. Since 2010 this bird is considered as a vulnerable species.[1]

The binomial of this bird commemorates the British collector John Whitehead (1860-1899), who collected the type specimen in June 1883.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2013). "Sitta whiteheadi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.