The Nuthatch has a black stripe on its head, a long black pointed bill, and short legs. It breeds in central and southern England and in Wales, and is resident, with birds seldom travelling far from the woods where they hatch.
Nuthatches store food, especially seeds, in tree crevices, in the ground, under small stones, and the birds can remember where they store them for as long as 30 days. Their habit of wedging a large food item in a crevice and then hacking at it with their strong bills is where their name comes from.
Nuthatches are omnivorous, eating mostly insects, nuts and seeds. They forage for insects hidden in or under bark by climbing along tree trunks and branches, sometimes upside down, very much like the Woodpecker. Unlike woodpeckers, however, they do not use their tails for additional support, relying instead on their strong legs and feet to progress in jerky hops. They are able to descend head-first and hang upside-down beneath twigs and branches
There are about 15 species of Nuthatch across the world, mainly in Southern Asia, but widespread across the Northern Hemisphere.
All nuthatches nest in cavities; except for the two species of rock nuthatches. All use tree holes, lined with soft materials on which to rest eggs, and often reduce the size the front entrance with mud, Nuthatches forage along tree trunks and branches and are members of the same feeding guild as woodpeckers.
Number in Britain
Conservation Status UK
Status in UK
Forest, woodland, and towns
Number of broods
First clutches laid
Age at First Breeding
Maximum Recorded Age
11 years, 9 months