Nuthatch

Sitta europaea

Nuthatch

Description

The nuthatch is a small bird, similar in size to a great tit. They have a pointed profile more reminiscent of a woodpecker, with a pointed beak, warm buff coloured underbelly, steel blue grey upper parts and a long black stripe through the eye with white cheeks.

Nuthatches are a territorial bird and are intolerant of other nuthatches and other species, sometimes spending a significant amount of the day squabbling.

They can be seen running both up and down the bark of tree trunks, they are the only bird to run down trees head first.

Prevalence

Nuthatches breed in mature woods and parkland in England and Wales, more recently they have moved into southern Scotland due to milder weather conditions.

There are 220,000 breeding territories in England and Wales. Young birds do not travel far from where they fledged.

Breeding

Nuthatches nest in tree cavities and may make use of old woodpecker nests.

They lay 6-8 smooth white eggs with red spots and can rear 1-2 broods in a season.

Lifespan

2-3.5 years.

Diet

Their strong beak is used to remove tree bark in the pursuit of invertebrates hiding underneath. They also take nuts and seeds, and will hide nuts underneath tree bark to be eaten later.

Nuthatches will visit feeders for peanuts and sunflower hearts. Suet can be smeared onto bark to be readily available for them as they scurry up and down the trunk.

Nuthatches may visit your garden for……