Field research on the dispersal of fecal sacs by parent White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) was conducted on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada in northwestern Nevada. Fecal sacs were dropped 6–60 m from the nest, with 56% of the total droppings (n = 66) being dropped 48–60 m away. Ninety-five percent of sac dispersal was in the southwest quadrant, the food-foraging site. Also, 75% of non-sac flights during the nestling phase were in the direction of the foraging area, a dead, mature Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi). Fecal sac dispersal by parent White-breasted Nuthatches may reduce or eliminate detection of nestlings by avian predators.
Weitzel, Norman H.
"White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) fecal sac dispersal in northwestern Nevada,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 65:
2, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol65/iss2/12