Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

White-breasted Nuthatches, Sitta carolinensis

These birds need mature trees with snags or deed wood. This is not easy to achieve in a back yard garden. If you have enough room, plant some deciduous oaks. These are best for near a home as the help to moderate the temperatures within your house and decrease your heating bill. They are also quite attractive.

Reproduction in the White-breasted nuthatch

The White-breasted nuthatch is a primary nester. That is, it excavates its own nest cavity. Sometimes they will use an old woodpecker nest. They have a very odd behavior of smearing things around their nest hole. This may be to deter predators.

Migration of the White-breasted nuthatch

Movement occurs in birds living in Southern California. These birds tend to move south in the winter. Nuthatches do not move around much otherwise.

A White-breasted nuthatch getting a drink from a puddle in the Nursery.

Habitat/plant communities used by the White-breasted nuthatch

The White-breasted nuthatch uses Oak woodlands as well as coniferous forests.

Closed Cone Pine Forest

Lodgepole Pine Forest

Central Oak Woodland

Yellow Pine Forest

Northern Oak Woodland

Southern Oak Woodland

Mixed Evergreen Forest


Red Fir forest

Range of the White-breasted nuthatch

The White-breasted nuthatch lives throughout California excluding the high Sierras central valley and desert regions.

The White-breasted nuthatch is not a long distance migrantDiet of the White-breasted nuthatch

The White-breasted nuthatch eats mainly arthropods gleaned from the bark of trees. This high protein diet is mainly used in spring during the breading period. They also pick nuts form conifer cones and acorn and stash some for winter. They seem to defy gravity in their ability cling easily to the underside of branches or move down a vertical tree branch in pursuit of insects and other arthropods.

Niche filled by the White-breasted Nuthatches

The White-breasted nuthatch fills a similar niche as the woodpecker. They eat arthropods from tree bark and nuts. They even cache stores for winter.

Learn more about California's flora from our front page.

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Also see how to build a bird house
Blue Oak - Quercus douglasii loses leaves in winter - grid24_6
Nuthatch likes big open trees.
White Breasted Nuthatch on Pine limb. - grid24_12
A White Breasted nuthatch scurrying upside down.
White Breasted Nuthatch watching the camera. - grid24_6
A White Breasted Nuthatch watching me.
white-breasted-nuthatch-sitta-carolinensis - grid24_6
A picture of a White-Breasted Nuthatch at the birdbath.
White Breasted Nuthatch - grid24_12
A White Breasted Nuthatch trying to figure out the birdbath.
An old photo of White Breasted Nuthatch - grid24_12
The White-breasted nuthatch is not a long distance migrant