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Neosittidae – Sittellas

Varied Sittella in Australia: Photo by David Irving

Neosittidae, comprising 3 species, are found in Australia and New Guinea. These small songbirds are known for their nuthatch-like behavior, climbing tree trunks and branches in search of insects.

Overview of Neosittidae

These short-tailed, light-limbed songbirds move up and down branches and tree trunks in a series of short hops, reminiscent of Northern Hemisphere nuthatches. However, they exhibit greater agility and lighter grip, with thinner bills unsuited for cracking seeds. Their nests, made from spiderwebs and camouflaged with bark and lichen, blend seamlessly into their surroundings. The most widespread species shows remarkable plumage variation across its subspecies, more so than almost any other songbird.