Nuthatches get their name from their habit of placing large seeds and nuts in crevices of trees and then prying them open with their bills. Nuthatches also probe crevices along tree trunks and limbs for smaller seeds and insects. They store seeds in loose bark or crevices. The percentage of seed and insect food varies with the season. One study found the diet included 68% seed in winter, 48% seed in spring, no seed in summer (100% insects), and 29% seed in fall. The insect foods eaten by white-breasted nuthatches include such species as weevils, tent caterpillars, ants, scale insects, psyllids, wood borers, and leaf beetles.
Animal Foods: insects
Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts
Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food
Primary Diet: omnivore