Photo of a Nuthatch in the foreground perched on a rock. The grey upper and rust-yellow of its belly stand out against the background and darker reddish tones in the rock.


Sitta europaea

Key Facts

  • Length: 14cm
  • Wingspan: 24cm
  • Weight: 24g
  • Average lifespan: 2 years

A tit-sized bird, the Nuthatch has a short tail, large head and a woodpecker-like bill. Nuthatches climb up and down tree trunks in mature woods and parklands, feeding on insects and nuts and seeds such as hazelnuts and beechmast.

Nuthatches nest in holes in trees or abandoned nests, but are happy to use nestboxes too. They start breeding in April and can produce two clutches of up to 13 eggs at a time.

How to Identify

Unmistakeable: Nuthatches are grey above, with a black eyestripe, white cheeks and throat, and rusty belly.

Where to Find

England, Wales and southern Scotland.

How People Can Help

You can help to look after Nuthatches and other garden birds by providing food and water for them – it doesn’t matter if you have a big garden or live in a high-rise flat, there are plenty of feeders, baths and food choices out there to suit all kinds of situations. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there’s plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Did you know?

The Nuthatch is the only British bird that can climb head-first down tree trunks, holding on with their powerful toes.

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