A Seven-Year-Old Nuthatch

Published in 1961

On December 29, 1954, I banded a Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) with band number 55-82501. This bird was retrapped once more in 1954, five times in 1955, one time in 1958, two times in 1959, and one time in 1960. On September 2, 1961, I again retrapped the same bird. Thus, this bird was in its eighth summer and must be at least seven years old. Due to the high rate of mortality among passerine species (40% or more per year, with heaviest mortality the first year), this is certainly an “old” bird, and must be considered an exception rather than the rule. For further information on longevity and survival rates in the Brown-headed Nuthatch see: Norris, R. A., 1958. Comparative Biosystematics and Life History of the Nuthatches Sitta pygmaea and Sitta pusilla. University of California Publications in Zoology, 56: 119-300.

Author: J. Bolling Sullivan, III.
Volume Number: 9 Year Published: 1961
Issue Number: 2-3
Page Number: 20

Link to article: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/1961/Vol 9 No. 2, 3_1961_p20.pdf
Link to the full issue of BirdLife: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/1961/Vol 9 No. 2, 3_1961.pdf