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Nuthatch, Identification, Habitat and Food
By Ark Wildlife
20th August 2013
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.
The Nuthatch emits loud ringing calls, including ‘chwet-chwet’. Their song is a loud repetitive ‘twee’.
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.
The Nuthatch likes wooded areas, parkland and gardens. It may be seen at bird tables.
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