Family Nuthatches (Sittidae)

Least Concern

Przevalski's Nuthatch (Sitta przewalskii)


French: Sittelle de Przewalski German: Przewalskikleiber Spanish: Trepador de Przewalski

Sitta przewalskii

Berezowski and Bianchi

, 1891,

Mindzheuskago Okruga [= Mindscheu district, presumably Minhé Huizu, in Haidong Prefecture], upper Huang He (Yellow River), east Qinghai, China


Until recently treated as conspecific with S. leucopsis, but separated on basis of significant morphological and vocal differences#R, involving much shorter, finer bill (allow 3); buffier white cheeks and throat grading through pale cinnamon on breast to pale rufous on belly vs clear greyish-white from cheek to belly (3); and “remarkable differences in territorial song”#R (allow at least 3); molecular analysis even places present species basal to all nuthatches, without close relatives (but leucopsis unsampled)#R. Monotypic.


C China in E & S Qinghai (Daban Shan S to Amdo Plateau and upper Huang He, and Nangqen area), W & SW Gansu (Huzu Bei Shan National Park, region SW of Xiahe and Minxian), N, C & W Sichuan (Songpan region, Qionglai Shan and around Litang) and extreme NE Xizang (NE of Qamdo). Also, separately recorded in SE Xizang (Kongbo, in Tsangpo Valley) and C Yunnan (Kunming), where status unknown#R.

Descriptive notes

12·5 cm. A medium-small nuthatch with rich cinnamon underparts. In fresh plumage, crown, nape, side of upper mantle and rear side of neck are glossy black, upperparts... read more


Calls include a muffled, mellow "chip" repeated in irregular series, somewhat reminiscent... read more


Recorded in spruce (Picea) and fir (Abies) forest, also more open parkland;... read more

Food and feeding

No information.


Seen at nest in Qinghai on 2nd Jul. No other information.


Resident; may undertake some altitudinal movements.

Status and conservation

Not assessed. Usually treated as conspecific with S. leucopsis. Rare; presence confirmed at relatively few sites. Probably merits conservation status of Data-... read more

Recommended citation

Harrap, S. (2020). Przevalski's Nuthatch (Sitta przewalskii). 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).