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Nuthatch

Nuthatch, Identification, Habitat and Food

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20th August 2013

Nuthatch, Identification, Habitat and Food

Identification

Length: 14cm.

This is the most common and widespread Nuthatch of Europe. Its upper parts are blue-grey, it has a black streak from the bill through the eye to the side of the neck. Under parts vary from white belly in the North of its range to deep brownish-yellow in the South. The throat is white and flanks are chestnut. The bill is a slate colour and they have yellowish-brown legs. The youngsters lack the chestnut colouration and some have white on the tail.

Call

The Nuthatch emits loud ringing calls, including ‘chwet-chwet’. Their song is a loud repetitive ‘twee’.

Reproduction

Breeding starts from late April. The female mainly builds the nest, which is a loose cup of dead leaves and bits of bark. The nest is situated in a tree hole, or a hole in a wall, or even a nest box. The entrance is plastered to size with mud.

Six to nine, rarely four to thirteen, eggs are laid. These are white speckled with reddish-brown. The incubation period is normally fourteen or fifteen days, but may be up to eighteen. The young are tended by both parents for twenty-two to twenty-five days.

Habitat

The Nuthatch likes wooded areas, parkland and gardens. It may be seen at bird tables.

Natural Food

Eats mainly insects, but also feeds on seeds and nuts.

Where to Feed

Feeder – Ideally above 1m in height

Table – Open topped or covered

Ground – Scatter in open