Yunnan Nuthatch

Information provided by: Avian Contributor: Jeannine Miesle


The Yunnan Nuthatch (Sitta yunnanensis) is endemic to Yunnan, China. It is thought to have a small global number since its range is small and its population scattered.

It can be found in south-east Tibet, southern Sichuan and northern Yunnan, and in the western extreme of Guizhou, China.

Although it was recorded in several other localities early in the 20th century, it has disappeared from those areas.


The Yunnan Nuthatch prefers open, mature pine forests, and it avoids other coniferous trees. The pine forests need to have little undergrowth or scrub and have an altitude of 2,400 to 3,400 m.

Because its natural habitat of subtropical or tropical dry forests is being destroyed, it is becoming rare.


The Yunnan Nuthatch weighs only 10 g. and grows to just 12 cm (4.75 in) in length.

This tiny bird has a long, broad black mask and narrow white supercilium.Its crown is grey, as are the upper parts, and its underparts and undertail coverts are white.The underparts show a faint pale pinkish-buff wash.

Juveniles have narrower mask and shorter supercilium.


This Nuthatch survives on insects, seeds and nuts.


Calls include a nasal kni, pi, tit and toik sounds (first two often repeated) and a harsh, scolding schri-schri-schri; this can become shrill and piercing to listen to. It also produces a strident, nasal ziew-ziew-ziew call.

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