4th April 2019

We are very lucky to have a pair of Nuthatches regularly coming to our feeders near the window at present, though seldom together. Though they eat insects, foraged with their dagger-like bills from under tree bark (they are our only native species to be able to move up and down a tree) they are omnivorous and come to us for sunflower seeds and fat. Their name apparently comes from their habit of taking seeds with a hard outer case, such as sunflowers, to a tree and wedging it into the bark, hacking (“hatching”) at it to get at the seed inside, a hbehaviour we often watch as they carry seeds off to our nearby trees. Nuthatches nest in tree holes, plastering mud round any holes that are too big¬†until the right snug, safe size. They will also occasionally nest in bird-boxes but they need bigger

Nuthatch

Nuthatch

Nuthatch- able to travel down and up a rough surface

than the usual boxes come in (Blue Tits- 25mm, Great Tits- 28mm.) Conditions: Nippy, grey and rain on the way. Temperature: Max 5 Min 3C.

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16th September 2017

Two Nuthatches, (so named because of the way they jam hard seeds and nuts into the bark of a tree and hammer them open- ‘nut-hackers’), have been making repeated trips to our feeders. If you, like us, find sunflowers sprouting in the most unlikely places, Nuthatches are the likely culprits, since they eat some seed and store some for later. They used to be mostly confined to the south but have spread further north in the 20th Century, first breeding in Scotland in 1989! Feeding from bird tables has probably helped them extend their range. Conditions: Heavy rain showers and sunny spells. Temperature: Max 15- Min 8C.

18th September 2016

The Nuthatch, what Sian calls ‘The¬†Bandit’, which

Nuthatch feeding on sunflower seeds

Nuthatch feeding on sunflower seeds

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unlike the Treecreeper can run up and down a tree-trunk, is back visiting the garden a lot again and, like so many birds now, the moulting is over and the colours strong. As you can see, it particularly likes the sunflower seeds, taking them off to a nearby tree-trunk to pierce with its strong, dagger-like bill. They will use nesting-boxes, reducing the entrance hole with mud till the right size, but we have never been lucky enough to have this happen. Conditions: Glorious, sunny day. Temperature: Max 20- Min 13 C.