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Nuthatch Sitta europaea

The Nuthatch can be a very common bird in your garden, provided there are lots of trees in the vicinity. The Nuthatch can climb trees but not only that - he can also descend trees with its head pointed downward, which is very unique. It feeds mainly on insects and their larvae that live in wood. In winter it eagerly takes the food you offer.

In my garden there are two birds that are completely dependent on trees. The one depicted here is the Nuthatch. Of the two tree dwelling birds it is the only one that can creep downwards (with it's head downwards as well!). In both German and Dutch the bird is therefor called the Tree Sticker. Without flying it simply seems to glue on to trees. The bird is very colourful and looks much bigger than it actually is. The beak looks a bit like a woodpecker's and the whole bird looks very robust. Like the Tree Creeper it eats insects from under the tree's bark, but to a certain degree it can drill into the stem like the Great Spotted Woodpecker does, thus obtaining beetle larvae etc.

In winter time the bird very frequently visits my feeding table. It will attack any peanut, whether in a net or in another container. It will sometimes just sit on top of the feeding table, trying to keep other birds away. When you are lucky enough to have a garden in an area with lots of trees then this bird will certainly strike you as a lively and interesting garden bird. And the bird is not without value either, for given the chance it will certainly eat the larvae of beetles that live inside trees. Some of these larvae are even capable of killing entire trees.

This bird belongs to the family of Nuthatches (Sittidae). It is very common in our garden and can be seen in Holland all year round. The bird is 6" and weighs 23 grams. It lives in woodlands, gardens and parks mostly. It eats insects and seeds. The sexes do not differ from one another. It breeds in may or june, usually just once. The eggs are warmed for two weeks, after which period the young stay in the nest for a relatively long time: two to three weeks. This is probably due to the fact that there may be six to eight eggs in the nest at once! The Nuthatch is a typical tree hole breeder.

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