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Nuthatch

Description


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.

 

 

Quick Facts


Number in Britain
290,000

Conservation Status UK
Green

Status in UK
Resident Breeder

Length
14cm

Wingspan
24cm

Weight
24g

Habitat
Forest, woodland, and towns

First Record
15th Century

Egg Size
20x15 mm

Egg Weight
2.3g

Clutch Size
6-8 eggs

Incubation
16-17 days

Number of broods
1

First clutches laid
Mid April

Age at First Breeding
1 year

Typical lifespan
3 years

Maximum Recorded Age
11 years, 9 months

 

 

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