Typical nuthatch; small bird with a wedge-shaped head, usually seen clambering around on trees. Gray above and white below, with a thin black line extending from the bill base to the shoulder. Deep rust red on the flanks and red-edged scaling under the tail serve to distinguish this otherwise plain species from similar nuthatches. Active and social, often following mixed flocks. Inhabits both broadleaf and coniferous forests in foothill and submontane areas. Listen for its song, a loud ringing series of trills. Calls include nasal caws, a bright-sounding “pewpewpew,” and high-pitched chittering.