One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small Australasian songbird of the nuthatch family, typically having a black cap or head.
Genus Neositta, family Sittidae: two species, in particular the varied sittella (N. chrysoptera) of Australia
- ‘I was unable to find any more information on the Australian sittellas, especially a photograph’
- ‘The sittellas often forage head-downward, and the tree-creepers climb up tree trunks seeking prey under the bark.’
- ‘Despite similarities in appearance and behaviour, the Australian sittellas are not closely related to nuthatches.’
- ‘The varied sittella has a grey body and breast, white head and tail tip and black wings and remaining parts of the body.’
- ‘The sitellas are a family of small passerine birds found only in Australasia.’
Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Sittella (former genus name), from Greek sittē ‘nuthatch’.
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