Malaysian Birds - Blue Nuthatch


Nuthatches comes under a small family of birds named Sittidae. The birds having clear characteristics of large heads and short tails, sturdy pointed bills and lengthy legs with strong toes ending in long claws. Their presence  in the area is denoted by the intermittent loud calls of whistles and trills. Other characteristic are the color of their bodies. They are in blue and grey, though Nuthatches in other region are known for the long black strip at the eyes and some with a contrasting supercilium. Of the two species found here in Malaysia, only the Velvet-fronted continued that tradition by having a thin black line after the eyes. Also seen in the bird, the dark colored forehead is followed by a lightly shaded crown followed. The Blue Nuthatch has a dark color head and face, so the talk about the presence of a black stripe at the eye for Nuthatches is irrelevant to this bird.

Sexes is distinguished by the differences in the tone on the underpart, especially rear flanks and under the tail for the velvet-fronted. More so the lack of the black post ocular stripe. The bills for the juvenile are dark or black while the adult Blue Nuthatches has pale color bills and the velvet fronted having red bills. In both cases, the color of the bills are outstanding as diagnostic markings..

Nuthatches are omnivorous, meaning they take a variety of foods ranging from insects, nuts to seeds. As their living habits, the birds is habitually seen scouring for insects hiding under the back of raised barks or deep cracks of tree trunks. Most time their action would one of "gliding" around the trunks and branches. Not surprising that the path would usually be one of going round the tree trunk, up and down the entire length. Then many a times kept moving in an upside down posture. Since the habits are working with trees with thick cracking barks and these are trees from deep forest, that's where the birds are often sighted.

It is not easy to spot Nuthatches and these birds with a body size smaller that a Sparrow hugging close to the tree trunk and unlike other passerines where their perched position made ostentatious because they are standing alone in the open, thus casting a tell tale silhouette. Furthermore the birds in a movement is rapid and constantly changing directions, pausing for only a fleeting moments.


Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 1

Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 2

Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 3

Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 4

Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 5

Blue Nuthatch'ss picture No. 6

Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 7

Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 8

Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 9

Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 10

Blue Nuthatch's picture No. 11

My personal jottings on the Blue Nuthatch :-

This Nuthatch moves along with bird waves. This bird is around usually a lone bird in the crowd with the other species. There were other scenes in the Old Pump House Road. These times, the birds would gather into a flock of 3-4 birds. Only Nuthatches and not in a bird wave. Of course they are properly scattered and not gleaning as a pack.


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