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Chestnut-vented Nuthatch - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Mountain Nuthatch; Naga Nuthatch

Sitta nagaensis



  • Slate blue upperparts, wings, tail, cap and nape
  • Black eyeline
  • Buff throat and underparts
  • Chestnut vents
  • Dark iris
  • Grey bill and legs

Sexes similar, female with rufous flanks, concolorous with undertail-coverts. Juveniles are on average slightly buffer.

Similar species

Distinguished from White-tailed Nuthatch by lack of white in central tail feathers and much paler underparts.


Found in southern China (southeast Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, southwest Guizhou, an isolated population in northwest Fujian), northeast India, Burma, northwest Thailand, southern Laos (Bolovens Plateau) and southern Vietnam (Da Lat Plateau to Mount Pantar).
Fairly common in its range.


Formerly considered conspecific with Eurasian Nuthatch.


There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • S. n. nagaensis:
  • S. n. grisiventris:
  • Southern Vietnam and south-western Myanmar (Mount Victoria)

Two additional subspecies montium and nebulosa are not generally recognised[2].


Moist montanes, temperate and moist forests.


No information on diet. Feeds probably on small arthropods and some seeds.
Usually seen singly, in pairs or outside the breeding season in small groups or mixed-species flocks.
The nest is placed in a tree hole, the entrance sometimes reduced with plaster. Lays 2 to 5 eggs.
A resident species. Probably some altitudinal movements.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2008. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553453
  3. Avibase
  4. Wikipedia

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