Nuthatch, any bird of the Passerine genus Sitta, with seventeen species ranging through the
Palsearctic and Nearctic regions to the south of India and Mexico. The nostrils are in a groove in the straight bill, the tail is short and broad, the legs short and stout, and the toes, of which the hinder is longer than the middle, armed with stout claws. The species are small, tree-creeping birds, generally nesting in holes in trees, and feeding on insects (in the search for which they prise off pieces of bark with their strong bills), seeds and nuts, and to their method of cracking the latter with blows of the bill they owe their popular names of Nuthatch, Nuthack, and Nutjobber. The Common Nuthatch (S. ccesia) is a British bird, by no means rare, but recognised with difficulty, except by practised eyes, owing to its shy nature and its coloration, which harmonises well with the hue of the bark of the trees on or among which it lives.
The length is rather less than six inches; the upper parts are slate-grey, with some black markings; the under-surface pale cinnamon.