British wildlife recordings

Sitta europaea : Nuthatch - Sittidae

  • Add a note
    Log in to add a note at the bottom of this page.
  • All notes
  • My notes
  • Hide notes
Please click to leave a note

The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »

Tags (top 25):
(No tags found for this item)
  • Type

    sound

  • Duration

    00:00:57

  • Shelf mark

    W1CDR0001532 BD13

  • Subjects

    Birds

  • Recording date

    1980/05/25

  • Recording locations

    Frensham Great Pond, Surrey: OS Grid Reference(484500,140500)

  • Recordist

    Williams, Aubrey John

  • Species

    Nuthatch, Sitta europaea

  • Description

    A call made by a nuthatch recorded on Frensham Great Pond, Surrey. This small but beautiful tree-climbing bird is never seen far from the large, mature trees that provide it with food and accommodation throughout the year. It is easily identified by its blue-grey upperparts as it clambers up and down branches and tree-trunks, particularly as it is the only British species that descends a tree-trunk headfirst. This technique enables the nuthatch to glean insects, larvae, and spiders during the summer months. During the winter however, beech-mast, acorns and hazelnuts are often wedged into a crevice and smashed open with its chisel-like bill. Breeding starts early, with the male singing from December, but nuthatches are not just heard during the breeding season and they tend to be very vocal most of the year. The loud 'tuit-tuit-tuit' call of this anti-social and territorial bird is a very distinctive component of any woodland or mature garden. The nuthatch nests in natural holes in trees but will also utilise nest-boxes. Once a suitable nest site is located, the female will often prevent larger birds from entering by reducing the size of the entrance hole with mud. The nuthatch has a widespread distribution in England and Wales and is just starting to spread into southern Scotland and at present there are 130,000 pairs breeding in Britain.

  • Metadata record:

    View full metadata for this item