Beautiful Nuthatch

As rare as it is attractive, Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa is seldom seen in China; there are scattered reports from southern Yunnan (Huanglianshan in Xishuangbanna, Daweishan near border with Vietnam) and western Yunnan (Dulong Gorge). Immediately recognizable by large size; black crown and mantle with blue-white streaking; sky-blue shoulder band and rump; sky-blue markings on otherwise black wings and tail; white-fringed median and greater coverts and tertials; whitish face with more or less diffuse black eye-stripe; and cinnamon-orange underparts. Song and call a loud twitter, usually single-pitched, sometimes slightly falling. — Craig Brelsford

THE NUTHATCHES OF CHINA has research on all 12 species of nuthatch in China. Click any link below:

White-cheeked Nuthatch Sitta leucopsis
Przevalski’s Nuthatch S. przewalskii
Giant Nuthatch S. magna
Beautiful Nuthatch S. formosa
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch  S. frontalis
Yellow-billed Nuthatch S. solangiae
Yunnan Nuthatch S. yunnanensis
Chinese Nuthatch S. villosa
White-tailed Nuthatch S. himalayensis
Eurasian Nuthatch S. europaea
Chestnut-vented Nuthatch S. nagaensis
Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch S. cinnamoventris


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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