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Algerian Nuthatch: Field Guide, Pictures, Habitat & Info

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Algerian nuthatch

There are about 30 nuthatch species throughout the world, and one of the lesser-known but still interesting nuthatch species out there is the Algerian nuthatch. While you probably won’t get to see one of these beautiful birds in the wild for yourself, they’re still great birds to learn more about!

hummingbird divider Quick Facts About the Algerian Nuthatch

Algerian nuthatch
Image Credit: Needpix
Habitat Oak and mixed forests between 1,150 feet and 6,500 feet
Diet Insects and coniferous seeds (insects preferred)
Behavior Active, inquisitive, territorial, and noisy
Nesting Holes in trees
Conservation Endangered
Scientific name Sitta ledanti
Lifespan: Between 2 and 3.5 years

Algerian Nuthatch General Description

The Algerian nuthatch is a small songbird that you can find in select regions in northern Algeria. They’re small, with a light-brown underbody and gray back and wings. Their heads have white-and-black stripes that help them stand out from other birds.

They also have long beaks that they use to eat insects, and you can see them climbing up and down trees while they forage. They’re intelligent little birds that you can see flying from branch to branch and have a range of unique calls that help make them easier to spot.

Algerian Nuthatch: Range, Habitat, Behavior, Diet & Nesting

Range

Currently, you can only find the Algerian nuthatch in small pockets of elevated forest in northern Algeria. It’s one of the smallest ranges for any bird, and the areas where these birds can live are shrinking due to wildfires and other environmental concerns.

Algerian nuthatch
Image Credit: Needpix

Habitat

The Algerian nuthatch lives at elevations between 1,150 and 6,500 feet, thriving in the higher altitudes. More specifically, they live in oak and mixed oak forests, as they need these trees for their nests and dietary needs.

Behavior

While the Algerian nuthatch is a small bird, they act much bigger than their size. These birds are extremely active and territorial and will do their best to drive off other birds that enter their territory. They’re also noisy and inquisitive, always trying to learn more and investigating unusual events.

Diet

Like most nuthatches, the Algerian thrives on a diet of insects and spiders. They prefer these foods, but during lean winter months, they will find and eat coniferous seeds.

Algerian nuthatch
Image Credit: Needpix

Nesting

Since the Algerian nuthatch lives in the forest, it’s not surprising that they use their environment to their advantage when nesting. They make small nests in holes in the trees. It can be natural holes, or they will use holes from woodpeckers and other forest creatures.

eagle divider How to Find Algerian Nuthatches: Birdwatching Tips

What to Listen For

The Algerian nuthatch is a noisy bird with a wide range of calls. Listen for a loud and repeated “kyi” sound, as this is one of their favorites. It can be hard to tell their song apart from those of different songbirds in the area unless you know what you’re looking for, though.

Algerian nuthatch
Image Credit: Needpix

What to Look For

Since the Algerian nuthatch lives and feeds in trees, that’s where you’ll want to look for them. Trees with holes in them make perfect homes for Algerian nuthatches, so if you see multiple holes high up in trees, you’re in a good spot to start looking.

When to Look

Like any nuthatch, the Algerian is most active in the early morning and late afternoon. These time periods are typically cooler than the rest of the day, and the Algerian nuthatch will expend less energy looking for food during these times. However, they will be active throughout the entire day.

Algerian nuthatch
Image Credit: Needpix

Attracting Algerian Nuthatches to Your Backyard: Tips & Tricks

Due to their extremely limited range, these birds are nearly impossible to attract to your backyard unless you live where they live.

Even if you do live in their extremely limited range, the fact that they almost exclusively eat insects during the warm months means you can’t attract them with feeders. However, during the winter months, feeders with coniferous seeds can be a great choice, and it never hurts to put out a bird bath to try to bring these birds in!

But the most important thing that you could do is get mature oak trees in your yard, and those take quite a bit of time to grow.

Algerian Nuthatch Conservation: Is this Bird Threatened?

Due to their extremely limited range, environmental concerns, and declining population numbers, the IUCN has the Algerian nuthatch listed as “endangered.”

Current estimates state that there are only between 1,000 and 2,500 of these birds still in the wild, meaning it wouldn’t take much to push the few remaining birds out and leave the Algerian nuthatch completely extinct.

hummingbird divider

Final Thoughts

Now that you know a little more about the Algerian nuthatch it’s up to you if you want to try and track one down in person. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get to the mountains in Algeria to spot a wild one, you might be able to find a local zoo or aviary that has a few for you to observe.


Featured Image Credit: needpix

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.