This is one of the favourite species at feeding stations, as perky as chickadees but less numerous and perhaps for this reason even more prized. One of the Joy’s of visiting Roy Ivor’s feeder at Erindale was watching his nuthatches fly out and catch in mid-air peanut pieces that he tossed up for them.
They are present throughout the year in Ontario: fairly common south of North Bay but rare and scattered north of there.
This is a bird the size of a House Sparrow, with blue gray back, blackish cap (navy in females), white breast and cheeks with contrasting beady black eyes, some rust colour on the flanks and under tail coverts and a longish slightly upturned bill. The call is a nasal “nya-nya: (not rising in pitch as in the smaller Red-breasted Nuthatch). In spring the song is a series of “nya’s” that may sound like a distant Pileated Woodpecker. Their habit of clinging to tree bark with head pointed downward is characteristic.