Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Giant nuthatch

Binomial name: Sitta magna, Robert George Wardlaw Ramsay, 1876

The giant nuthatch (Sitta magna) is a species of bird in the Sittidae family. It is the largest species in the genus at 19.5 cm, and is largely grey in colour except for a faintly rufous underpart in the female, whose eyestripe is also duller than the male. The bill is much bulkier than other Sitta.

Giant nuthatches are found in the mountains of southwestern China and northern Thailand, and may be extinct in Myanmar. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical mountain pine forests. In northern Thailand they were found to use Pinus kesiya stands both for foraging as well as for nesting. Both parents take care of the young, and the usually three nestlings leave the nest in about 20–23 days.

The giant nuthatch is severely threatened by deforestation of its mountainous habitat in southwestern China. Because it tends to require large trees to provide the hollows required for nesting, it is very sensitive to the removal of large trees, and BirdLife International in its 2013 review uplisted the species to Endangered because it is now believed that the actual population, previously estimated at around 10, 000, stands actually as low as 2, 500 and continuously declining.

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Scientific classification

Sitta magna

Conservation status

Endangered (IUCN3.1)

Endangered (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Giant nuthatch, Sitta magna in Thailand

Range map of Sitta magna in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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