Pygmy Nuthatch: Small nuthatch, blue-gray upperparts and pale yellow breast. Head has a dark gray-brown cap, pale spot on nape, and thick black eye-line; throat is white. Legs and feet are gray. Weak fluttering flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings drawn to sides, usually of short duration.
Range and Habitat
Pygmy Nuthatch: Resident locally from southern British Columbia, eastward to the Black Hills of South Dakota, and southward into Mexico. Primary habitat consists of ponderosa pine forests with undergrowth of bunchgrass; also occurs in stands of other pines, Douglas firs, and western larch.
The Pygmy Nuthatch has a large range, estimated globally at 2,000,000 square kilometers. Native to Canada, the United States, and Mexico, this bird prefers subarctic, subtropical, or tropical forest ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 2,300,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Pygmy Nuthatch is Least Concern.
The Pygmy Nuthatch was first described in 1839 by Nicholas Aylward Vigors, the Irish zoologist and politician.
It is one of only two nuthatch species in the world known to have helpers at the nest. Offspring from previous years help their parents raise young.
No records exist of these birds roosting alone. They always huddle in a group, sometimes with more than 100 in a single cavity.
A group of nuthatches are collectively known as a "jar" of nuthatches.