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Sulphur-billed Nuthatch

From Opus

Photo © by Mark Harper Infata Road, Luzon, Philippines,  March, 2019
Photo © by Mark Harper
Infata Road, Luzon, Philippines, March, 2019
Sitta oenochlamys


[edit] Identification

Photo by Romy OconMt. Makiling, Laguna Province, Philippines, November 2004
Photo by Romy Ocon
Mt. Makiling, Laguna Province, Philippines, November 2004

12.5cm. A medium to small nuthatch.

  • Yellow bill, eyering and iris
  • Black forecrown with black stripe extending behind eye
  • Violet-blue upperparts variably tinged lilac
  • Paler patch on nape/upper mantle
  • Blue tail
  • White chin and throat
  • Pale cinnamon-orange underparts

Sexes similar but females usually lack the eyestripe. Juveniles are similar to adult but they have more orange-toned underparts.

[edit] Distribution

Endemic to the Philippines.
Fairly common where suitable habitat remains.

[edit] Taxonomy

May form a superspecies with Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and Yellow-billed Nuthatch and sometimes placed in a separate gensu Oenositta with these two species.
Six subspecies recognized:

  • S. o. mesoleuca in northwestern Luzon
  • S. o. isarog in the rest of Luzon
  • S. o. oenochlamys on Panay, Guimaras, Negros and Cebu (west-central Philippines)
  • S. o. lilacea on Samar, Biliran and Leyte (east-central Philippines)
  • S. o. apo on Mindanao (except Zamboanga Peninsula)
  • S. o. zamboanga on Zamboanga Peninsula (Mindanao), Basilan and east Bolod Island

[edit] Habitat

Pine and evergreen forest.
From lowlands up to 2600m, commonest at higher elevations.

[edit] Behaviour

Feeds on insects and spiders.
Forages singly, in pairs or small parties, often associated with mixed-species flocks. A very active bird.
Few information about breeding. Birds in breeding condition seen in January and March to May. Breeding recorded in Cebu in mid-June.
A resident species.

[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

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