Nuthatch - Sitta Europaea

Nuthatch
(click to enlarge)
The Nuthatch, a resident of this country, is a woodland bird mainly found in the South of England, but only in areas where there are large mature trees close by. It can often be observed creeping up and down tree trunks and branches, keeping very tight and progressing with a jerky action. Nuthatches have a solid appearance, and always give the impression of being immaculately smart.

Identification
A very smart blue/grey on top, with a white throat and an underneath that is an orange/sandy brown colour. There is a very distinctive stripe on the head that passes through the eye, and the male can be distinguished by it's rich chestnut flanks. Their song is a cheerful, loud "chit-chit" call.

Nesting
Ideally a hole in a tree is used, or failing that a hole in a wall or an abandoned nest. The nest consists of bark, woodchips and old leaves.

Food
Nuts, seeds and insects. Can be observed wedging shelled nuts into crevices on trees, then energetically hammering at them until they crack.

Garden Tips
Will eat any nuts and some seeds if provided, and will use a nest box with an entrance hole of about 1.5".