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The Sittidæ or Nuthatch Family

Nuthatches are little climbing birds characterised by short tails. Like woodpeckers, they feed on insects, which they pick off the trunks and branches of trees. Unlike woodpeckers, however, they move about the trunks of trees with the head pointing indifferently downwards or upwards. The common nuthatch of the Nilgiris is the velvet-fronted blue nuthatch (Sitta frontalis). The upper plumage is dark blue, the cock having a velvety-black forehead and a black streak through the eye. The lower parts are creamy white. The bill is coral red. The note is a loud tee-tee-tee.