noun \ˈnət-ˌhach\

: a small bird with a narrow beak and short tail

Full Definition of NUTHATCH

:  any of various small tree-climbing chiefly insectivorous birds (family Sittidae and especially genus Sitta) that have a compact body, a narrow bill, a short tail, and sometimes a black cap

Illustration of NUTHATCH

Origin of NUTHATCH

Middle English notehache, from note nut + -hache; akin to Old English tohaccian to hack — more at hack
First Known Use: 14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

European nuthatch (Sitta europaea)—Bruce Coleman Ltd.

Any of about 25 species (genus Sitta, family Sittidae) of songbirds that are 4–7.5 in. (9.5–19 cm) long and have a short, square tail, short neck, and thin, pointed bill. Most are forest dwellers; some live in rocky areas. Nuthatches search tree trunks and rocks for insects, often descending headfirst. They also eat seeds, which they may store for winter. The nest is a grass- or hair-lined cavity. Nuthatches are most common from Eurasia to Japan and southward; four species occur in North America. Most are bluish above and white or reddish below; there may be a black eye stripe or a cap.


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