Family Nuthatches (Sittidae)

Least Concern

Kashmir Nuthatch (Sitta cashmirensis)


French: Sittelle du Cachemire German: Kaschmirkleiber Spanish: Trepador de Cachemira

Sitta cashmirensis

W. E. Brooks

, 1871,



Intermediate in many respects between S. europaea and S. castanea/S. cinnamoventris and has often been treated as conspecific with one or other of these, but differs in vocalizations and plumage (especially undertail-coverts); occurs within 5 km of S. cinnamoventris in N Pakistan (Murree Hills). One alarm call (like that of Garrulus jay) and nest construction suggest possible affinity with S. neumayer and S. tephronota, which two species are sister to the clade comprising S. europaea and the present species, among others#R. Monotypic.


NE Afghanistan (Nuristan and Kohistan S to Safed Koh), N Pakistan (S to extreme N Baluchistan, and W Himalayas E from Chitral) and Kashmir; also NW Nepal (Humla, Mugu, Jumla and Dolpo E to Phoksumdo Tal, S to Surkhet).

Descriptive notes

14 cm; 17·2–21 g. A medium-sized nuthatch, typical in shape and behaviour. Male has crown and upperparts, including upperwing-coverts and tertials, dull blue-... read more


Contact call a very high, thin, almost squeaking “tsi” or “tseet” in rather rapid (c. 3 notes per... read more


Coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests; apparently some dependence on presence of deciduous,... read more

Food and feeding

Food insects, spiders (Araneae) and, especially in winter, seeds and nuts; grit often found in stomach. In summer found singly and in pairs... read more


Season May–Jun in Afghanistan, and late Apr to late Jun in Pakistan. Nest a layer of bark chips, seed husks and dried leaves, placed... read more


Resident, with some limited seasonal altitudinal movement.  

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restrictedrange species: present in Western Himalayas EBA. Common to locally common in E Afghanistan, Pakistan (although scarce in Murree Hills) and... read more

Recommended citation

Harrap, S. (2020). Kashmir Nuthatch (Sitta cashmirensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 6 April 2020).