In Minnesota we typically see two different species of nuthatch, the white-breasted and red-breasted. The white-breasted nuthatch is common though out the state while the smaller red-breasted nuthatch typically lives in the north eastern part of the state. Some of the northern most red-breasted nuthatch population will migrate south out of Canada in the winter in search of food, so it is possible to see them in other parts of the state during the fall and winter.
Nuthatches are woodland birds. They are often seen climbing down the trunks of trees upside down. They eat mainly insects during the warm months, many of which the glean from the bark of the trees. During the winter they switch to a diet of mainly seeds. They will even cache some during the summer and fall in preparation for winter. They are a cavity nester and will aggressively defend their nesting cavity from other birds. They will often line the whole of the cavity with tree sap which helps to prevent larger predators from entering the nest.