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Nuthatch against a background of Autumn leaves.
Nuthatch – Sitta europaea. Devon, UK
Canon 500mm F4 IS plus 1.4 x Extender
Evaluative Metering -2/3
This is the only species of nuthatch in the UK. Unlike woodpeckers and treecreepers, they commonly descend tree trunks headfirst.
They live for about 11 years and are found in England and Wales, France and Iberia, east through much of the Mediterranean area to parts of Turkey and the Caucasus and north to southern Scandinavia and Russia. They also breed in a limited area of Morocco.
Their favoured habitats include woodland, parks and gardens, and they sometimes visit bird tables. They feed on insects, as well as nuts and seeds, which they hammer into trees and split open with their sharp beak.
Nuthatches are agile birds that spend the majority of their time in the trees. They are able to run headfirst down trunks as well as upwards, picking insects from the bark.
Nuthatches nest in holes in trees, often plastering up the hole with mud if it is too large. They lay 6-9 eggs, which are incubated for 14-15 days. The chicks fledge after 23-25 days.