This is the only species of nuthatch in the UK. Unlike woodpeckers and treecreepers, they descend tree trunks headfirst.
They live for about 11 years.
Length: 14cm, Wingspan: 22.5-27cm, Weight: 20-25g.
Nuthatches have a blue-grey back, with chestnut flanks. They have a short tail, a black eye-stripe and a long pointed bill. There are two distinct colour forms: the northern european subspecies has a white underside, and birds elsewhere have a buff underside. They are plump birds that look a bit like small woodpeckers.
Nuthatches 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.
They live in woodland, parks and gardens, and 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. They are a resident species in the UK.
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.
Nuthatches are not listed by the IUCN.
Nuthatches have a loud ringing ‘tuit, tuit, tuit-tuit’ call, as well as a loud rattling ‘pee, pee, pee’ trill.