Bluebird and Small Cavity Nester Conservation
Sialis - Bluebirds and other small cavity nesters


Pygmy Nuthatch Nest, Eggs and Young

Cavity nester photos of nests eggs and young

Cavity Nester Nests, Eggs and Young Photos and Bios. Also see Nest ID Matrix (contents) and Egg ID Matrix (color, spots, etc.)

Pygmy Nuthatch Nest.

Photos courtesy of Linda Violett.

Nest description: Nest cup of bark shreds, fine moss, grass, plant down, fur, hair, cocoons and other soft fibrous materials, most incorporate feathers. May also contain snake skin and bits of cloth (wool or cotton) and papery material from wasp nests, string, grass blades. Never include conifer seed wings (see Brown-headed Nuthatch). May also "caulk" nest site cracks with hair and feathers.

Eggs are short subelliptical to short-oval, little or no gloss, white, unevenly and sparingly speckled or finely spotted with chestnut-red, reddish/purplish brown, with heavier markings often at the large end.

Pygmy Nuthatch nestlings.

Pygmy Nuthatch nestlings that are a few days old.

There are nine chicks in the photo above. Most sources say that Pygmy Nuthatches typically lay 6-8 eggs, with an average of 7, but 4-9 is possible.

She had them nesting in CA in a box that was hung about 15 feet high, with a 5x5" floor and two 1.25" round holes.

Pygmy Nuthatch  

Pygmy Nuthatches seem more aggressive than Mountain Chickadees and may out compete them for nestbox occupancy.

Linda has noted that Pygmies will cooperatively nest, with several adults defending the box and caring for the young.

Pygmy nuthatches are very social, with flock members calling to each other constantly, and roosting and breeding communally. In San Diego County, they commonly nest in pine snags, but also use big-cone Douglas Fir or Oak if mixed with pines. They lay from May 4 - June 5.

References and More Information:

    The student of Nature wonders the more and is astonished the less, the more conversant he becomes with her operations; but of all the perennial miracles she offers to his inspection, perhaps the most worthy of admiration is the development of a plant or of an animal from its embryo.
    -Thomas Henry Huxley, British biologist and educator. Reflection #54, Aphorisms and Reflections, selected by Henrietta A. Huxley, Macmillan, 1907.

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