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Kashmir Nuthatch

From Opus

Photo by Alok TewariHill Station Dalhousie, Alt. 7000 ft., Distt. Chamba, HP-Himalayas, India, June-2014
Photo by Alok Tewari
Hill Station Dalhousie, Alt. 7000 ft., Distt. Chamba, HP-Himalayas, India, June-2014

Alternative name: Brooks's Nuthatch

Sitta cashmirensis


[edit] Identification

14cm. A medium-sized Nuthatch.

  • Dull blue-grey crown and upperparts
  • Rufous-buff underparts with unmarked vent
  • Long and heavy bill
  • Black mask
  • Weak whitish supercilium
Photo by Nigel CyberDoc

Sexes similar. Females are duller and paler overall. Juveniles are as females but slightly more yellow-ochre below.

[edit] Similar species

Distinguished from similar White-tailed Nuthatch by lack of white in central tail feathers, much paler underparts and longer and heavier bill.

[edit] Distribution

Found in northeast Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and in the western Himalayas of India to northwest Nepal. Patchily distributed.
A restricted-range species but locally common.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species, which has in the past been considered a part of Eurasian Nuthatch.
Forms a superspecies with Eurasian Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch and Chestnut-vented Nuthatch.

[edit] Habitat

Coniferous, mixed and deciduous forest.
Recorded at 1800 to 3050m.

[edit] Behaviour

Feeds on insects, spiders and in winter on seeds and nuts.
Seen singly or in pairs, in winter in mixed-species flocks.
Breeding season from April to June. The nest is placed in a tree hole (often an abandoned woodpecker hole). The entrance is often reduced with wet mud. Lays 5 to 7 eggs.
A resident species with some altitudinal movements.

[edit] References

  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
  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. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

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