Family Nuthatches (Sittidae)

Least Concern

Krueper's Nuthatch (Sitta krueperi)


French: Sittelle de Krüper German: Türkenkleiber Spanish: Trepador de Krüper

Sitta Krüperi


, 1863,

Smyrna (Izmir), west Turkey


A member of a species group that contains also S. whiteheadi, S. ledanti, S. villosa, S. yunnanensis and S. canadensis. Present species has sometimes been treated as conspecific with S. canadensis, at least, but differs from that and all others in group in rufous breast patch (significant in courtship and territorial display) and relatively large difference between adults and juveniles. Closest relative is S. ledanti, which see. Monotypic.


Extreme E Greece (Lesbos), Turkey (except most of C & E), extreme SW Russia (Krasnodar region and N watershed of NW Caucasus) and S Georgia (foothills of Kuzey Anadolu Mts).

Descriptive notes

12·5 cm; male 10–14·3 g. A medium-small nuthatch with black fore­crown, white supercilium and distinctive rufous breast. Male in fresh plumage (autumn... read more


Very vocal. In excitement or alarm gives subdued, often rather quiet harsh or hissing “cha... read more


Closely associated with Turkish pine (Pinus brutia). In Turkey, found in forests of... read more

Food and feeding

Food largely insects and spiders (Araneae) in breeding season, switching to seeds of Turkish pine and other coniferous trees in autumn and... read more


Season early Apr to mid-May (depending on altitude and locality) on Lesbos and in Turkey, and Apr–May in Caucasus; probably single-... read more


Resident, with some post-breeding dispersal. In Turkey noted at Çamlica hills (in Istanbul)... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Endemic to Europe. Fairly common throughout range. Estimated global population 121,000–451,000 pairs, of which 100,000–... read more

Recommended citation

Harrap, S. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Krueper's Nuthatch (Sitta krueperi). 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).