Sunday, 3 August 2014

Nuthatches at Grafton Underwood

Quite close to me is this woodland which I feed up during the winter months, it is a good place for Nuthatches when the canopy has thinned out.

Unlike Treecreepers,  the Nuthatch can climb headfirst down trees and branches as well as up them, in either direction the passage is very jerky on its short strong legs. 

Sometimes elusive and always very agile they can often be seen hanging to the underside of branches as they search for insects in the bark of the wood with their probing beaks.

At times very vocal it is often the '' tuit-tuit ''call that alerts you to their presence in the vicinity, they rarely venture outside their territory which they occupy from year to year, young birds do not move far away when establishing their own territories.

It is in Autumn and winter that the birds stout black beak really comes into its own, Nuthatch are named after their habit of wedging seasonal nuts into crevices in the bark and hammering them open to extract the kernel.

Lastly but certainly not least, the Nuthatches plumage is unmistakable with its blue-grey upper parts, buff apricot underparts gradually merging into chestnut near its rump all set off with a distinctive thick black eye stripe which goes some way down its thick-set neck.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Douglas, there are several territories in this woodland, but as you say a difficult bird to capture.