Bird of the month – September 2023

Have you seen the bird of the month?

For September, it is the: Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Nuthatch With Seed
Nuthatch With Seed

Where can I find them?

The Nuthatch is fairly common in the reserve. You may hear it before you see it.

The best place to see or hear them is in the Kitchen Garden, Netley Meadow and at our Bird Feeding Stations (October – March).

About the species

A plump bird and about the same size as a Great Tit.  Their plumage is blue-grey on the top, white face with a black stripe and chestnut on its side and tail.  They resemble a small woodpecker, with their beak, however they are not and do not belong in the same family.

The species is on the UK green list, meaning its population is currently stable.

They weigh around 20-25g and have an average lifespan of 2-3 years.

They are known as scuttling tree climbers and can be entertaining to watch, as they busily go up and down tree trunks searching for food and insects.

At our bird feeding stations, they can be seen feeding from the white sunflower heart feeders or on the mixed seed feeders, discarding any seed they do not like.

What do they sound like?

They have several calls, but the most common sounds like a range of loud whistling.

Where do they nest and what is the nest made from?

Nesting normally starts in April.

The nest is normally constructed in tree holes or old woodpecker holes; however, they have used serval of the bird boxes, within the reserve. The entrance is reinforced with dried mud, to help keep out other birds.

Mud on box
Mud on box

Nesting material is small pieces of bark flakes and dead leaves.  Around eight eggs are laid.  Only the female will incubate the eggs, but both parents will feed the young.  The young will then fledge around 25 days after hatching.

If you manage to spot and photograph a Nuthatch, within the reserve, why not share it on our Facebook page?