Beautiful Nuthatch (Sitta Formosa)

The Beautiful Nuthatch (Sitta Formosa) is one of the rarest species of Nuthatch in the world. There are thought to be about 10 million of these birds in existence.

It can be seen in northeast India and neighboring regions, some places in Thailand, where it may be a winter visitor or resident, eastern Afghanistan to western Nepal and western China.


One of the larger Nuthatches, the Beautiful Nuthatch measures 13 cm-16.5 cm (5-6.5 in) in length.

Its back is black and streaked with white markings. The upper back, rump and shoulders are bright blue. The underparts are a dull shade of orange, while the face is pale orange. Its long cheeks, and its chin and throat are white. The underparts are mostly white, while the upperparts are dark grey. One can see the contrasting colors on the bird in flight; there is a white patch surrounded by dark underwing plumage.

Males, females and juveniles are similar in appearance.


It forages for insects in high trees in dense forest, and this always rare species has been adversely affected by woodland clearance.

Its rarity, retiring habits, and the political and geographical inaccessibility of its range mean that little is known about this species.

Photo of author

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