Belongs to: oddballs

Compare with: treecreeper

Nuthatch Sitta europea

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Tree-climbing woodland bird that cracks nuts

Habitat: open deciduous woodland and parkland

Fairly common resident, except in the north of Essex and the coastal strip


Pale blue above and rusty below with black eye stripe and short, square tail; 13–14 cm

Climbs both up and (head first) down trees looking for food; wedges nuts in bark to crack them with its beak

Feeds mainly on nuts, also beetles, caterpillars and other insects


In courtship the male fluffs up its feathers and spreads its wings and tail

Nest is made of bark flakes or dead leaves in a tree hole, the entrance sometimes plastered with mud to keep out intruders

1 brood late April to May; 6–10 white eggs, spotted reddish

© David Harrison