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Nuthatch

 

 

 

There are 144,000 pairs in the UK.

They are usually seen moving down the trunk of a tree rather than going up it, which is a habit peculiar only to the nuthatch.

They are mainly insectivorous in summer, but in the autumn and winter will eat nuts and seeds and are therefore more frequent visitors to gardens at this time.

The name comes from the habit of wedging a nut in the crack of a tree (or garden gate) and splitting it open with its bill, like we would use a hatchet - hence, nut-hatch.

They are known to store food for the winter by wedging it into holes and crevices, sometimes even covering them with moss or bark to hide their location.

They will nest in any available hole, including nest boxes and disused woodpecker nest.  The female makes the entrance hole smaller using mud and is left with a very tight squeeze to get in and out.

They have 6 to 8 eggs in April of May, which are incubated by the female for just over 2 weeks.  Both parents will feed the young for 3 weeks.  They will sometimes have 2 broods in a year.

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