Scientific name: Sitta europaea
Family: Nuthatches (Sittidae)
Wingspan: 20 - 25cm (8 - 10")
Diet: Mainly insects, nuts and seed
Feed with: peanuts, sunflower hearts, and black sunflower seeds
Habitat: Nutches can often be found in mature woods and parklands, mainly in central and southern England.
Lifespan: 2 Years
THE NUTHATCH IS a rotund and chubby little bird with blue-grey overparts and a light orange underbelly and breast. The long, pointed beak is characteristic of the bird, as is the black band around the eyes, which is like a miniature Zorro's mask. The nuthatch is roughly the same size as the great tit.
It is an all-year-round bird that is loyal and sedentary to its location, which is usually a dense and mature woodland.
NUTHATCHES ENJOY FEEDING on acorns, hazel nuts, as well as seed and insects that can be found underneath the bark of trees, using their long, slender bills that have adapted for this type of foraging.
IN THE GARDEN, nuthatches will readily take to a garden bird table and eat a variety of nuts and seeds. Nuthatches also have a tendency to hoard and store food for those more difficult times of the year such as winter when food isn't as readily abundant as in other seasons.
Listen to the loud, quick-fire and varied rhythmic sound of the nuthatch.
Nuthatch Breeding & Nesting
NUTHATCHES RARELY BUILD their own nests, preferring instead to either take over an old abandoned nest or use a hole in a wall or tree. Should the hold prove the be too large, nuthatches will plaster over the open area with mud to create a smaller entrance hole.
Nuthatches will readily use bird nest boxes, such as this nesting box with a 47mm diameter opening, although it is possible to go down to an opening of around 35mm.
NUTHATCHES BEGIN BREEDING in late April, producing eggs that are glossy and smooth and covered with red-brown speckles. The incubation period lasts between 14 - 18 days and fledge times are slightly longer than usual, lasting between 23 - 25 days.