Nuthatch – Sitta europaea

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Nuthatch

Nuthatches are an interesting little bird that will commonly come to feeders especially at this time of the year. I have a permanent hide and a feeding station next to a wood here in Exeter, Devon, UK. Nuthatches are one of the most common visitors at the feeders. At the feeders they can be aggressive to other small birds.

There will always be a dominant bird who will never allow another individual, not even other Nuthatches, on the feeder at the same time. When seen separately, the sexes are similar but males are more strongly marked and have brighter “brick-red” markings on the flanks. I like to watch them because they have an interesting peculiarity, they are the only British bird that will creep head first “down” a tree trunk or branch. The image above is a typical pose.

They will use their long strong beak to chisel in to nuts which they sometimes jam in to the cracks of bark to hold steady. They use existing holes in tree trunks for nesting and they will make the hole smaller by plastering mud around the hole. In the late summer I had the chance to see several newly fledged birds who were noticeably less brightly marked and had lightish coloured beaks and shorter tails than adults.

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Charles Fleming

Charles Fleming

Charles Fleming is a wildlife photographer and nature blogger based in South West England. His blog "Wildlife in a Suburban Garden" has more than 1400 entries and a link to galleries where you can view more than 4000 images from the UK and the rest of the world featuring photographs of more than 500 species. "My aim is to try and put my readers and viewers intimately close to the subject and to share the thrill of watching and photographing birds and wildlife at close quarters".

Charles Fleming

Charles Fleming

Charles Fleming is a wildlife photographer and nature blogger based in South West England. His blog "Wildlife in a Suburban Garden" has more than 1400 entries and a link to galleries where you can view more than 4000 images from the UK and the rest of the world featuring photographs of more than 500 species. "My aim is to try and put my readers and viewers intimately close to the subject and to share the thrill of watching and photographing birds and wildlife at close quarters".

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