One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small songbird with a stiffened tail, which climbs up and down tree trunks and feeds on nuts, seeds, and insects.
Family Sittidae and genus Sitta: several species, including the widespread (Eurasian) nuthatch (S. europaea), with a grey back, black eyestripe, and white or buff underparts
- ‘Plenty of birds of winter still mob Ann's bird feeders; chickadees, juncos, sparrows, woodpeckers, nuthatches, goldfinch, and doves are in no short supply.’
- ‘Although cardinals, chickadees, titmice, blue jays, nuthatches and finches will eat the large striped sunflower seed, there is much less waste and a bit more nutrition in the small, oil type.’
- ‘In my yard, jays and grosbeaks entertain me on one side of the house (large tube feeders with seed trays) and goldfinches, chickadees, and nuthatches feed in peace on the other (small tubes with no seed tray).’
- ‘In Massachusetts winter residents include chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, titmice, cardinals, and mockingbirds.’
- ‘They have disappeared from our view, as have bullfinches and tree sparrows, nuthatches and marsh tits.’
Middle English: from nut + obsolete hatch (related to hack), from the bird's habit of hacking with the beak at nuts wedged in a crevice.
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