In pine forests of the West, Pygmy Nuthatches are among the smallest songbirds and are often the most conspicuous. Active, acrobatic, highly social, these nuthatches clamber up, down, and around tree trunks and limbs, hop along branches, or dangle upside down from twigs. Usually in flocks of three to 10 individuals, they keep up almost a constant high-pitched piping. Often, they’re at the center of mixed flocks, with chickadees and others joining the roving nuthatch gangs.
Any discussion of Pygmy Nuthatch leads to a mention of its close relative, the Brown-headed Nuthatch. The two are so similar that in the past they occasionally were treated as one species. While the range of Pygmy Nuthatch extends north into western Canada and south into the mountains of Mexico, the Brown-headed is essentially restricted to the southeastern United States.