nuthatch

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nuthatch

(nŭt`hăch), common name applied to a number of Old and New World species of small birds of the genus Sitta, related to the titmouse and the creeper. The name refers to its habit of wedging nuts into crevices in trees and pecking them open. Nuthatches are unique in that they climb down tree trunks headfirst in their search for insects and spiders. Unlike the creepers, the nuthatches have straight bills and do not use their short tail feathers as a prop. Nuthatches are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Sittidae.

nuthatch

any songbird of the family Sittidae, esp Sitta europaea, having strong feet and bill, and feeding on insects, seeds, and nuts