Sitta europaea

With its woodpecker-like jizz and exotic plumage the Nuthatch is fairly easy to recognise. It is steely grey-blue above, pinky buff below and has a prominent black eyestripe, white chin and dark, dagger-like bill. Nuthatches are busy and agile birds, typically seen working their way down a tree trunk searching for food.

Nuthatches do not occur in Ireland nor across many parts of Scotland. The slow range expansion north into Scotland has been documented through BTO surveys, with gardens often one of the first places that newly established individuals are noted. Most Nuthatches are extraordinarily sedentary, making only short flights from tree to tree.

Nuthatches will use nest boxes, often plastering mud around the entrance hole until it meets their exacting requirements. Nuthatches prefer old holes in large, mature deciduous trees, but they like to line them with bark flakes from conifers, especially Scots Pine.

Find out more about Nuthatches on BirdFacts and the Wider Countryside Report.

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